Monday, January 28, 2008

Teemu goes Duck hunting

Teemu Selanne officially rejoined the Anaheim Ducks today, ending a season-long Waiting Game and inspiring some very heated debate.

On the one hand, Selanne, one of the game's most prolific goal scorers, made it clear early on that, if he were to postpone retirement and to play this year, he would only suit up for Anaheim. It was his choice to make and there was never any question.

Alternatively, critics point to his situation (as well as the Scott Niedermayer one) as unfair to the entire league. Their point does have some validity to it: Why should a player who has been resting most of the season suddenly be allowed to join whatever squad he chooses just in time for a playoff push?

My take is that Selanne merely (legally) exploited the lack of a rule preventing such actions. He feels the Ducks have a good chance to repeat as Stanley Cup champions and therefore, he wants to be a part of the triumph. Do some of his teammates feel slighted that they've carried the heavy load thus far and now the Flying Finn will enter the picture and lead them to playoff glory? Perhaps. However, hockey is first and foremost a team sport. The players know that a rejuvenated and healthy Selanne means that more wins are on the horizon.

Hoisting that silver chalice in June would go a long way towards dispelling any lingering bitterness.

No comments: