Two days after they were eliminated by the Predators in Game 6 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series in Nashville, the Ducks held their annual exit interviews Tuesday at Honda Center.
Would this be the last for Teemu Selanne?
This time around, he chose his words carefully in front of the gathered media.
“I'll let you know when I know something,” said Selanne, who will turn 41 on July 3. “I'll just wait and see how I feel. I don't have to rush."
It'd probably be an easier decision if Selanne didn’t have such a fabulous season, particularly down the stretch, lifting the Ducks into the postseason. He tied a franchise playoff record with six goals against Nashville and scored points in every game.
Her had 10 goals and six assists in the final 11 regular-season games, most coming at crucial moments, and finished with 31 goals and 80 points. Selanne will be an unrestricted free agent come July 1, but said he wouldn't play anywhere else but Anaheim.
“I've got to be honest, it was so much fun this year,” he said. “That's all you really ask for.”
His teammates noticed as well.
“I think [Selanne] had too much fun this year not to come back,” said Saku Koivu.
Ducks general manager Boy Murray also addressed the media and didn’t hide his intentions with Selanne.
“He's too good to quit,” he said. “I'll do everything in my power to keep him here.”
In other developments, defenseman Toni Lydman and forward Matt Beleskey are scheduled to undergo shoulder surgery Monday, according to Murray.
Lubomir Visnovsky, who broke a franchise record for goals by a defenseman but was not much of a factor in the playoffs, revealed he has been playing with two injured shoulders that prevented him from picking up his young son. He won’t need surgery, however.
Veteran forward Todd Marchant, who will turn 38 this summer, also said he plans to contemplate his retirement plans after speaking with his family.
Ray Emery talked about his whirlwind season.
After sitting out a full year following hip surgery, Emery was signed as insurance when No. 1 goalkeeper Jonas Hiller began experiencing vertigo-like symptoms following the All-Star break. Emery ended up winning a starting role as Hiller’s symptoms lingered and other back ups struggled. He came back from a groin injury late in the regular season and started the last five playoff games.
He woke up Tuesday to learn he had been nominated as a finalist for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which goes to the player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
“It's a nice acknowledgment,” he said.
Emery, who will be an unrestricted free agent July 1, said he’d like to return to Anaheim but recognizes the uncertainty with Hiller.
“It’s kind of up in the air, as far as what’s going on here with goaltending,” he said.
Murray called Hiller’s situation one of the big question marks of the offseason.
The other, of course, being Selanne.