I had the pleasure of covering the Anaheim at Vancouver game last Saturday night for my first Hockey Night in Canada
game of the year. It was sloppy affair, like many of the games on that first day, but I did get to see Teemu Selanne
in action, which is always a thrill. He scored two goals, added two assists
and didn't look at all rusty, despite admitting to Kelly Hrudey and Scott Oake on After Hours
that he didn't think it was his best game.
It reminded me of a story that illustrates why, even at 42 years of age and the NHL's oldest player, Selanne remains on top of his game.
It was Nov. 1 of last season. The Ducks were playing the Washington Capitals and led 3-0 early in the game before blowing it and losing 5-4 in OT, despite a two-goal, two-assist performance by Selanne.
After the game, Selanne was seen in the dressing room doing 45-second sprints on the bike. Players and staff were amazed and asked what the heck he was doing. Selanne's response was "I need to be better... I just need to be better."
The fact is, Selanne still loves the game, and he still has the work ethic to always make himself better on a daily basis. It's not easy to do as you get older. It takes a lot more hours to stay in shape and to recover after each game. It's simply amazing, and every player on his team and the opposition still respect his speed.Will Getzlaf & Perry stay?
Ryan Getzlaf pretty much admitted to me on air that a deal will get done on a new contract between him and the Ducks. He wants to stay, and his off-season home is in California. It's an easy fit for him.
Not that Corey Perry won't sign in Anaheim, but there is a bit more concern there, especially since prior to the lockout there were extensive negotiations that never materialized into a signed contract. There may be a pull for Perry to go east. He may want to be closer to London, Ont., where he played junior hockey and his off-season home is. Plus, he's from Peterborough, Ont., where his family still lives.
There are three possible teams he may look at:
- Detroit: A team that has a winning tradition, which is still very much a priority for Perry. They also may have the most talent on their roster and within their system to give back in a trade, as that is a top priority for the Ducks.
- Toronto: Despite being naturally quiet, Perry would thrive in such an intense hockey market. The issue here may become what the Leafs give in return. Does Toronto want to part with a piece like a Jake Gardiner? He's a guy that the Ducks never would have traded away if they knew what was eventually going to happen with Justin Schultz.
- Ottawa: I think this is less likely than the first two, but he would be a nice fit for Ottawa, especially to fill a hole that will come eventually when Daniel Alfredsson calls it a career.
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