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Analysis: Selanne's return far from surprising

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

You didn’t really think Teemu Selanne was calling it a career, did you?

Yeah, right – after scoring 48 goals and winning the Stanley Cup.

Selanne became the second Duck to return to the team after contemplating retirement (Scott Niedermayer was the other, for those who have been away from Earth) and his presence gives Anaheim a real legitimate shot at becoming the first team to repeat as Stanley Cup champions since the 1997 and 1998 Detroit Red Wings.

Without Niedermayer and Selanne, the Ducks struggled through the first half.

No big shock there.

Stanley Cup winners and even the losing teams in the final have had a hard time bouncing back the following season in recent years.

Nevertheless, Anaheim looks to be loading up and GM Brian Burke still has a little cap room left if he chooses to add to his arsenal.

What makes Selanne’s return unique is, he left as a No. 1 right winger and returns as a No. 2.

In his absence, the trio of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Todd Bertuzzi has emerged as the team’s top line. That means Selanne will likely skate on a line with Doug Weight as the team’s second unit.

Selanne said he wasn’t sure if he still had the passion to play, but having started skating a few weeks ago, found enough left in his reserve to take another run at winning the Cup.

He is a welcome addition to a team that looks to him for leadership and offense.


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