Ducks F Teemu Selanne doesn't seem happy with limited role

Mar 10, 5:44 PM

Anaheim Ducks forward and living hockey legend Teemu Selanne is having the worst offensive season of his career, and he thinks his role with the Ducks is a big part of the issue. 

"It's a totally different situation when you play [on the] first line and big minutes," Selanne told NHL.com's Curtis Zupke on Monday ahead of Anaheim's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. "It's hard when you don't play those. You can't really expect much."

Selanne has only managed 20 points in 50 games this season, and is averaging under 14 minutes per contest. The MVP of the men's Olympic hockey tournament has seen his ice time dip even more significantly since his return from Sochi.

The future Hockey Hall of Famer has played with the Ducks' second unit power-play, but at even-strength he's played fourth-line minutes against the bottom-end of opponent's rosters. Selanne still appears to have a modest positive impact on Anaheim's puck possession metrics, but his offensive struggles aren't solely the product of limited ice-time.

Selanne's even-strength shot rate - he's averaging only five shots per sixty minutes of even-strength ice-time - ranks dead last among Ducks regular forwards. Of the 295 NHL forwards who have logged at least 500 minutes at even-strength, Selanne is generating shots on goal at a rate that would rank him 261st. 

Perhaps the Ducks are resting Selanne for the postseason, or perhaps his limited run of late reflects his flagging effectiveness. Time comes for us all. 

Or perhaps you believe Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau, who told reporters that this minor expression of dissatisfaction from Selanne is insignificant. "It's been four games and [Selanne's ice time has] decreased by 12 seconds," Boudreau told reporters, while pointing out that the Ducks haven't had many power-play opportunities lately.

Mar 14, 7:22 PM

Teemu Selanne bumped up to Ducks' top line Friday vs. Avalanche

Mar 14, 7:22 PM

Ask and you shall receive.

Veteran forward Teemu Selanne will skate on Anaheim's top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry during Friday's game in Colorado, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The 43-year old has not scored a point in five games since the Olympics, and recently expressed frustration about receiving limited ice time and opportunities. 

Selanne did play on the top line for one game back in October - registering four shots - and head coach Bruce Boudreau is hoping for more of the same against the Avalanche.

“I’m hoping he brings the same kind of energy and passion he brought to us in that game,” Boudreau said. “It’s been musical chairs with Perry and Getzlaf on that left side. You kill two birds with one stone if 'T' gets going and the line is successful."

The Ducks have lost four games in a row, and Selanne appears excited to have a bigger part to play in helping to right the ship.

“I’m very happy about that chance that [Boudreau] has given to me and I’ll try to take advantage of it,” Selanne said. “The game is easier when you play on the first line. You still have to work, I’m excited for the challenge, for sure.

“All the great teams have to go through a tough time. This is it for us. It’s kept us honest and reminded us to work hard and do the right things. We need everybody and it’s going to make us strong.”

Feature photo courtesy of Christopher Hanewinckel / USA TODAY Sports