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.