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This could be swan song for Ducks' Teemu Selanne

April 8, 2011 |  2:27 pm

Lj225xnc This question has come up toward the end of the season the last few years, but it’s worth asking again.

Will right wing Teemu Selanne be playing his final game in Anaheim Friday, if the Ducks miss the playoffs?

The future Hall of Famer will reach the end of his contract June 30, three days before he turns 41. His production is as strong as it has been for years—he ranked ninth in the NHL with 29 goals and 78 points with two games left in this season, making him one of only three NHL players 40 or older to score 76 points or more in a season. The others were Gordie Howe with 103 points in 1968-69 and Johnny Bucyk with 83 points in 1975-76.

He ranks 14th all-time in goals, with 635, tied for 48th in assists, with 703, and tied for 27th in points with 1,338. He also shares sixth place on the list of career power-play goals, with 236.

His hands are still as quick as ever and his enthusiasm is still evident but the Finnish winger must decide if he’s willing and able to do the increased work it takes to stay in top condition to play in a young man’s league.

Friday’s game against the Kings could very well be his last home game as a Duck. “Could be,” he said after Friday’s morning skate at Honda Center. “Who knows? There’s always a chance but nobody really knows it.

“I don’t know. Honestly. There’s a possibility but I still think I’ll do what I planned to do: take a month off after the season and see how I feel after that.”

He said he was thinking that Friday’s game-day skate might have been his last in Anaheim but added he hasn’t considered whether the Ducks’ playoff fate will influence his decision. They need to earn two points—or have the Dallas Stars not earn two points—in order to clinch a postseason berth.

“I haven’t thought about it at all,” he said. “There’s only one focus right now here. We’ve got to just get into the playoffs and go from there. Those other things, I’ll just have to deal with later.”

He said he feels he can still play at the high level he demands of himself. “You can’t have fun if you don’t have success,” he said. “That’s the key. That’s why I’ve still been enjoying it.”

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Photo: Anaheim Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne (8) warms up before the game against the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion April 2, 2011. Credit: Jason O. Watson / US Presswire