Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 08/24/13 at 03:30 AM ET
Over in Sweden, there's big news regarding Modo Ornskoldsvik wanting to dress Michael Nylander's son, William, on their SHL team instead of loaning the 16-year-old to Michael's current team, Rogle BK of the Swedish Allsvenskan, and on this side of the pond, Teemu Selanne's deciding whether to continue his NHL career as his 15-year-old Son Eetu begins his journey toward a professional career.
Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne will meet with General Manager Bob Murray and Coach Bruce Boudreau next week before deciding whether he will return to the team for his 21st NHL season.
Selanne, who turned 43 in July, had a strong start last season but his production declined in the later stages, as did his ice time. He had 12 goals and 24 points in 46 games in the lockout-shortened season. The emergence of several young wingers was a factor in his reduced ice time.
Selanne spent much of the summer in his native Finland but returned to Orange County last week and met with Murray last week to discuss his role. With the start of training camp approaching on Sept. 11, Selanne wanted to talk to Boudreau and clarify the coach’s plans for him.
The Finnish forward ranks 15th all-time in NHL scoring with 1,430 points and 11th in goals with 675. With 251 career power-play goals, he ranks third in that category. A five-time Olympian, he’s the all-time leading scorer in Olympic hockey competition with 20 goals and 37 points in 31 games.
“I’ve met and talked with Teemu a couple of times in the last week or so. We have had good, positive discussions,” Murray said Friday via email. “He told us he would like to meet again next week, and was hoping to make a decision at that time. We want him to take his time and make a decision he's comfortable with. It's Teemu's decision to make.”
And at the other end of the spectrum, Eetu is taking part in the WHL's Calgary Hitmen's rookie camp, and he spoke with NHL.com's Aaron Vickers about his attempts to slowly climb the developental hockey ladder...
"I train the same way he does," Eetu Selanne said. "He helps me go through all the steps that are required to improve a lot. It's competition. I'm not exactly beating him yet. I'm trying to get there. I can totally see all the improvement that I've got from it. It's very good."
Whether the opportunity takes him the major junior route or to college remains to be seen. But Selanne seems to have an ambition to play in the WHL.
"It's a great program," the 5-foot-10, 170 pound forward said. "I see that players that improve the most usually come from this league because it's one of the top junior leagues you can go to."
Teemu envisions a collegiate career for his son, though Eetu's path could come down to the influence of Ducks teammate Ryan Getzlaf. The Anaheim center is a former member of the Hitmen and has helped educate Teemu about the benefits of playing junior hockey in Calgary. That advice could help influence Teemu when it is time to make the decision.
"He would like me to play college because he thinks even if I don't make it as far [as the NHL], I can still get a good education and play at the same time," Eetu Selanne said. "But he also likes how the Calgary Hitmen do their program after talking to Ryan Getzlaf about it, because he gave him a lot of advice about the program and how it works."
If Selanne does not join the Hitmen, he could continue a successful high school career in California. Eetu and his older brother Eemil were part of the Santa Margarita Catholic High School team that won a California state title and the 2013 USA Hockey High School national championship in March.
And yes, Vickers asked Eetu whether his father would be returning to the NHL:
"Hopefully he is, so…," Eetu said when asked if his father would play in the 2013-14 NHL season.
Even though he said he doesn't know what the future holds for his famous father, it hasn't stopped media and fans from asking the 15-year-old about it. All Eetu can do is shrug.
"I'm used to it," he said.
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