NHL lockout, if you cost us Teemu Selanne there’ll be hell to pay

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The NHL lockout has seen a few veteran players ponder the end of their careers if the work stoppage swallows this season, like so many owners swallow gold-plated caviar and players swallow blue-collar man-of-the-people cans of cheap beer. (Because flimsy stereotypes make for vivid lockout writing.)

Shawn Thornton of the Boston Bruins would be "probably done." Defenseman Sean O'Donnell, an unrestricted free agent, told ESPN that "you can say 100 percent sure that if this goes long or we miss the whole year, then my career is done."

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We've written about Daniel Alfredsson and Teemu Selanne's likely victory laps in the 2012-13 season being truncated by the lockout. But what if there is no season through which to victoriously lap? Would that be the end for a player like Selanne?

He says "probably."

TSN caught up with the Anaheim Ducks star, and asked him that very question. Quothe Teemu:

"Probably. It's hard to say for sure, but year after year it's getting harder and harder to get ready for the season. When the season starts, it's going to be fine. But doing all the right things at this age, that's the hardest part.

"But, you know, I'm more sorry about this hockey world and these younger players. I'm 42. I really don't have to play one season more or a single game. I would be sad to go out like this, but I got more than I really dreamed out of it."

Selanne — and my god man, what a duster you've sprouted in this Movember — also put over the fans in that clip, saying, "They pay our salaries. It's unfair for fans to not have the hockey right now."

Equally unfair to the fans: Seeing the career of one of the most beloved players in NHL history end on the negotiators' terms rather than his own.

Jen Neale of Anaheim Calling sums it up, with a warning to Henry and Susan Samueli:

Ending the career most beloved Anaheim Duck of all time on a pissing match that is supposed to be a negotiation, is unthinkable. Whatever fans we have left at the moment are going to take this as an insult. Here is your 42 year old super star, continuing to come back each season because he loves to play, having to end his career because of greed and egos. Mutiny? Possibly. Backlash? Absolutely.

Samueli wants more money in revenue sharing and he's going to get it. Not strictly because the Ducks are in a non-traditional market but because no one will show up (save that night's opponent's fans). Goodwill will be gone because his actions took away one of the best reasons to watch the Ducks.

If there is in fact a two-week moratorium on CBA talks, hopefully both sides use that time productively. Like watching Teemu Selanne highlights and realizing that getting him back on the ice should be the single most important issue driving these negotiations.

Escrow? HRR? Make whole? Details.

What's best for Teemu? That, friends, should be the only concern.


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