Speaking to Finland's Iltalehti tabloid, Teemu Selanne talks about past, present and future, not to mention to current labour dispute. If all goes as planned, Selanne expects to play for another 2-3 years. Knee surgery last fall granted me a chance for fresh start, Selanne believes. The knee didn't recover in time for this season (in Europe), but other than that the operation was a success. "My plan is to do skating exercises through spring and summer. Physically I am in good shape, but I need to get my left leg in skating condition. There's no pain at all in the knee, which has improved my quality of life to no end," Selanne notes. His mission in clear. "When I come back, I will be in full strength. I want to reach once more that level of play that I maintained for the first 10 years of my NHL career." "It makes no difference whether NHL gets started or not. The situation there is ridiculous. I might just as well play in Finland or Europe. Also, in 2006 there's Olympics in Torino and Worlds in Latvia. There are challenges outside of NHL," Selanne assures. The forward had planned to join Jokerit Helsinki in February and feature in Worlds in May, but the delay in recovery prevented that. "I am riled no end but what can you do. Playoffs with Jokerit and Worlds would have been a great fresh start. However I have always maintained I will not take the slightest risks but will play only when I am completely ready," Selanne notes. Selanne has exercised all winter long in California at the gym, cycling and jogging. On ice "Finnish Flash" has been joined by Paul Kariya, Steve Rucchin and others, until the final call of NHL season cancellation reached them. "There were 20-30 of us on ice every day. The day after the news broke I was all by myself. That's why I don't think Canada or US will have full strenght teams at Worlds. Players have been more focused in vacationing," Selanne remarks. "I knew already in early March that I wouldn't be there in time to join Jokerit this year, but I kept on exercising with the goal of making it to Worlds. Regarding those I only made my decision (to drop out) on Monday." Selanne was the leading scorer in NHL in 1993, 1998 and 1999. At the time of his transfer from Anaheim to SJ in spring 2001 his left knee took a turn for the worse. "For three years I was handicap. I was playing practically one-legged. I had to take painkillers each morning before leaving for exercise. Emerging challenges, such as the chance to join the strong Avalance team, pushed any major work on the knee further and further." Finally in last August a good friend of Teemu's, orthopedic surgeon Ismo Syvahuoko operated the knee. This came after World Cup in fall when Teemu played next to Saku Koivu and Jere Lehtinen in Team Finland's first line. "If only I could get a chance to play with those guys while we were all in full strength. In World Cup Saku had a wrist injury, I was with the knee and Jere had back trouble," Teemu laments. Extended period of recovery has restored Teemu's old feelings towards the sport. Winning the Stanley Cup is no longer the only motivation to prolong his playing career. "To be honest, what is driving me back into the rink is the desire to play. I could just as well imagine ending my career with an Olympic gold medal, World championship, or Finnish championship." NHL remains his priority number one, but all this nonsense this season has stripped it of much of its prestige. Selanne still feels the same as he did at the start of the labour dispute last summer: owners are not playing it clean. "I believe a couple of teams are honestly in the red. But for most the league is a profitable business. Owners with numerous businesses on the side find it easy to distort the books and come up with exactly the kind of figures they want to," Selanne criticizes. What becomes of it then, do we see hockey in NHL next year? "I really don't know. I wouldn't count anything on that," Selanne concludes.