Selanne interview

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by broman, Mar 30, 2005.

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  1. broman

    broman Registered User

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    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.
     
  2. DummyGotHisDomi

    DummyGotHisDomi Former ChuckyToGally

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    Good post but in the wrong place!!! ;)
     
  3. McDonald19

    McDonald19 Marcus Pettersson

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    Go ahead and stay over there in Finland Teemu. Your 8 and 9 million contracts contributed to "ridiculous" situation as much as anyones.
     
  4. kenabnrmal

    kenabnrmal Registered User

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    You know I think you're a great poster, but thats probably the most ridiculous thing I've read of yours. Selanne played far below market value on all but two of his contracts (and the last one was a package deal, rather unique). Your Ducks got him for a steal for a number of years. Selanne's never held out, never had money as a motive, and he's proven it time and time again. I'd argue that if more in the union had been like Selanne, the mess would have never been as bad as it is. He's never had protracted contract negotiations, so he's simply taken whats been offered of him. Can you really blame a guy for that?
     
  5. Took a pill in Sbisa

    Took a pill in Sbisa 2showToffoliIwascool

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    I agree.
     
  6. :clap:
     
  7. McDonald19

    McDonald19 Marcus Pettersson

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    Your probably right about there being many worse contract situations than Selanne's...but I simply didn't like the fact that he called the NHL situation ridiculous when he was one of the players getting a ridiculous salary.
     
  8. Pepper

    Pepper Registered User

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    Well what was Selanne & Baizley (his agent) supposed to do when Ducks offered him $9.5M per season?? "no thanks, offers like are going to ruin the league financially"
     
  9. Chehabi

    Chehabi Registered User

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    Reminds me of Chris Gratton. I back the NHLPA 100% in these CBA talks.
     
  10. copperandblue

    copperandblue Registered User

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    How can you guys read that article and then suggest that he was paid below market value.

    He signed a 5.8 million dollar contract when he knew full well that he was - his words - "For three years I was handicap. I was playing practically one-legged. I had to take painkillers each morning before leaving for exercise. ..."

    I wonder what a two legged Selanne would cost? 11, 12 mil?

    As an aside, does anyone else feel he is just a little hypocritical when he says;
    "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,"

    after he talks about "playing on one leg" for the past three seasons, and yet he was still looking for the big dollar contracts?
     
  11. RorschachWJK

    RorschachWJK Registered User

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    I'd just like to see him play healthy once more. Preferably on the national team.
     
  12. f1nn

    f1nn Registered User

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    I hope he plays in the NHL for atleast another season... as a huge Selanne fan I would find it heartbreaking to see him end his NHL career on a season like last... I am sure know that his knee is better he will be able to produce more offensively and play better overall
     
  13. Volcanologist

    Volcanologist Used Register

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    I wonder if he and Kariya want to play on the same team again?
     
  14. McDonald19

    McDonald19 Marcus Pettersson

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    I assume they will as they are "special" friends.

    But at this point what NHL team wants to give 2 of their 6 scoring line spots to this pair?
     
  15. El_Loco_Avs

    El_Loco_Avs Registered User

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    They were offered to him... and teams get to do a medical check... they know what they're getting.
     
  16. Waingro

    Waingro Foppa2118 / Mystic MacK

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    I don't see the correlation between the two. I'll take a page out of what someone else said. Do you really expect him to say, no thanks, I should take less money, my knee has really been hurting my play. It's the owner's and the GM's fault the salaries have risen so far. The players are entitled to get as much as they can, it's the GM"s and owners, that decide whether they are worth it or not, and to shape market value.

    He likely would have made the same amount of money if he didn't have the bum knee, not $11 or $12 million, because those GM's were probably banking on him returning to form anyway. I just don't see the correlation between what he said about the owner's distorting the books, to him playing on one leg, and accepting the contracts that were laid out in front of him. I know it's just your opinion, but I disagree.
     
  17. Boltsfan2029

    Boltsfan2029 Registered User

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    I won't get into the hypocritical part, but this is an example of what is a bit off base about a lot of folks' point of view of this whole thing.

    An owner having "numerous businesses on the side" doesn't in and of itself mean the hockey team's books are distorted.

    For example, if I own a book store and a bar, no matter how successful the bar is the book store can still fail. As the owner *I* may not be going under thanks to the bar, but the numbers of one business don't impact the numbers of the other one.
     
  18. Pepper

    Pepper Registered User

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    Remember that Selanne with the same bum knee scored 28 and 29 goals in Sharks (being their best goalscorer both years) so it was reasonable to assume he could do about the same in Avs, especially with Kariya. But Granato had different plans...
     
  19. jamiebez

    jamiebez Registered User

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    And a large part of his decline in production in SJ was because of playing under Sutter's defensive style. He was allowed to run and gun a lot more in Winnipeg and Anaheim.

    I'm glad this was posted. I look forward to seeing him back in the NHL at 100% soon. A class act all the way.
     
  20. copperandblue

    copperandblue Registered User

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    My problem with this is not that he signed for the most money he could get.

    Where my problem does lie, is in the suggestion that the owners "are not playing it clean" in terms of disclosing their true financial situation.

    Wether or not the owners are being forthright or not is a different debate all together, what is relevant imo is that Selanne seems to hold the opinion that the owners should be doing a better job of voluntarily disclosing their true financial picture and yet he has leveraged his first 10 years of good hockey into some pretty high priced contracts despite knowing full well that he wasn't 100%....in fact I believe he said he was handi-capped.

    Take the money and be happy but don't point fingers about something that carries similar optics in regards to the owners.

    Either that or set the moral example and take less - something that is more reflective of what you can deliver - then stand on a soap box and point fingers about full disclosure.

    Don't do parts of each.

    As for the - what is he suppose to do turn money away - argument, what did Kariya do? Does anyone really believe that negotiations started out at 1.2 mil for Kariya and 5.8 for Selanne? (yes I know Kariya wanted less than league average money in order to hit free agency a year early, it still doesn't change the fact that he took less when he could have gotten much much more)
     
  21. jamiebez

    jamiebez Registered User

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    I'm sure Colorado would have had their doctors examine him. I believe this is common practice for traded players.

    This is the PA's beef: they don't have the luxury of "examining" the NHL's books (at least, not to a level of their liking)
     
  22. copperandblue

    copperandblue Registered User

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    This misses the point all together.

    Selanne presents a moral objection to how the owners "are not playing it clean".

    My problem is not in the objection, it is in the fact that he seems to absolve himself of similar moral obligations when taking big dollars while knowing full well he can't perform.

    When talking in these terms, the team doctors have nothing to do with it.

    Simply not true, the opposite has been proven over and over during the course of the last 6 months. They chose not to "examine" the teams books.

    Again though, different debate for a different board.
     
  23. kenabnrmal

    kenabnrmal Registered User

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    I understand what you're saying, but keep in mind you're pulling this from one translated quotation from a Euro newspaper. Before you blast the guy for his stance on the issue, it'd perhaps be best to hear a little more on what his stance actually is.

    As for taking less, he took less to resign with the Sharks the second time, and played for less than market value while with the Ducks for a good portion of the time. The deal with the Avs was a fairly exceptional one, but even at that, 5.8mil wouldn't be much more than he could have gotten with another team as a free agent last season.
     
  24. 007

    007 You 'Orns!

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    If you're going to make that argument, you have to take the whole picture in mind. He said was handicapped by a bum knee, not totally disabled. As was mentioned, he still managed to lead the Sharks in goalscoring each of those two years. Teemu at 80% is still a better goalscorer than the vast majority of players in the league.

    I don't see how you can think that the team doctors had nothing to do with it. You are suggesting that he did something underhanded by accepting money to play, knowing that he had a bum knee. He didn't try to hide anything from anyone -- even if he had wanted to, he couldn't. He and his teams' managements obviously thought that he could still produce, and he did, albeit to a lesser degree than before: hence his accepting a smaller contract in SJ his second year there.
     
  25. kenabnrmal

    kenabnrmal Registered User

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    He certainly wasn't hiding a thing. Those who follow Selanne remotely have known for years that his knee has been an issue.
     
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