By Allan Muir
It looks like Teemu Selanne has opened the door leading to a return to the Anaheim Ducks for the 2013-14 season. A report by Timmo Kunnari on Finland's MTV3 website says the UFA winger met with GM Bob Murray last week in Anaheim to discuss what role he might have for the coming season.
Kunnari also says that Selanne was seen working out on the ice yesterday at the team's practice facility.
It's not surprising that the veteran is seriously considering another season. He showed signs of slowing down last year -- hey, the guy's 43 -- but there's still enough left in those legs to make a contribution to the Ducks . . . if he's used properly. The trick now is determining whether he and the team see eye-to-eye on what that proper usage is.
From Selanne's perspective, you have to think that means top-six minutes alongside capable linemates and a significant part on the power play. That role seems to be open, and Murray has made it clear that he wants Selanne back, but after seeing his ice time reduced by more than two minutes per game last season, you can understand why the Flying Finn is looking for reassurances before he starts putting in the work.
The Ducks have the cap space to make a deal happen, around $4.3 million according to capgeek.com and keeping him around would buy another year of development time for promising youngsters Jacob Silfverberg, Emerson Etem and Rickard Rakell, among others.
The two sides may still be weeks away from a decision--you don't suppose he's drawing this out so he can blow off training camp, do you?--but the fact that they're talking at this point has to be seen as a good sign for fans of the Ducks and of the future Hall of Famer.
(s/t to Janne Virtanen)