Teemu Selanne returns to Ducks for 20th NHL season

Associated Press Modified: July 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm •  Published: July 12, 2012

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Teemu Selanne says he's far from finished with hockey, and the Anaheim Ducks are grateful he's still not feeling his age.

The 42-year-old Selanne agreed Thursday to a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Ducks to return for the 20th NHL season of his remarkable career.

Selanne could end up being the NHL's oldest active player next season, yet he shows no signs of slowing after leading the Ducks in scoring last season. Only Gordie Howe ever scored more points as a 41-year-old than Selanne's 66 last season, and Selanne sees no reason he shouldn't keep going.

"Sometimes, age is just a number," Selanne said in a phone interview while on vacation in Italy. "Age is a funny thing. A lot of times, I don't really feel 42. It's just a number. It all depends on how you feel."

The Finnish Flash's real numbers are much more impressive: Selanne is the 19th-leading scorer in NHL history with 1,406 points in two decades spent mostly in Anaheim, his home for parts of 13 seasons. The right wing is 12th in league history with 663 goals, and could crack the top 10 with another strong season.

"I just enjoy the game so much," Selanne said. "I still feel I have something to give."

Selanne has been with the Ducks for the past seven years, winning the Stanley Cup in 2007. Although he has contemplated retirement every offseason since raising the Cup, his latest return to the Ducks has been widely expected after he played all 82 games — the oldest player in NHL history to do that — without injuries.

"It was a little bit easier than last year," said Selanne, who needed offseason knee surgery a year ago. "Last year, I had my knee and wasn't sure if I was able to play again. I just enjoy the game so much."

He's in the middle of a long summer break after Anaheim missed the playoffs, but the Ducks surged in the second half of the year under new coach Bruce Boudreau. Selanne was impressed by Boudreau's energy and management technique, and he believes the Ducks are ready for a rebound after winning just one postseason round in the past five seasons since their championship.

Continue reading this story on the...