Anaheim also hopes for a playoff return for the sake of Selanne, who has scarcely lost even a fraction of a step as he returns for his 20th NHL season. The Finnish Flash had plenty of time to relax during the lockout, but he stayed in top shape in anticipation of the shortened season, remembering his experience during the last labor-shortened campaign way back in 1994-95, when he was with the first incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets.
"I played in Finland then, so when the league started again, it felt quite easy," he said. "The guys who played in Europe this time, I'm sure they're a little bit ahead of us."
Selanne was frustrated by the Ducks' struggles last season even while he produced another strong statistical campaign, leading the club in scoring with 66 points. Although he isn't certain he's playing his last NHL season, Selanne considered the possibility that a wiped-out year could end his historic career in a weird fashion.
If he decides to hang it up this year, he's grateful he'll go out on his skates — and he thinks the Ducks can get him back to the playoffs.
"Hopefully, it's going to be a good setup for the old guy," Selanne said. "It's going to be a challenge, because the recovery time is just so short. ... We want to remind each other of what happened last year. We'll try to get those feelings back, because you don't want to have those feelings again. It was a nightmare."