Anaheim Ducks star and hockey deity Teemu Selanne has been candid throughout the NHL lockout.
He called Commissioner Gary Bettman the NHL’s “most hated person” while bemoaning the fiscal irresponsibility of the owners. He said he’d be willing to lose the potential final season of his career if it meant the players ensure themselves a brighter future in a new CBA.
In the past, Selanne said he believed the lockout needed to get settled by the end of December in order for there to be a 2012-13 season. But with talks between the NHL and NHLPA progressing, Selanne tells MTV3 of Finland that he’s really, really optimistic there will be a season. As in, he thinks the lockout will end next Monday.
Via the great Matias Strozyk’s translation, Selanne said:
"I think the lockout ends next Monday, the 7th, camps begin on the 10th and the 1st game is on the 18th or 19th. Light at the end of the tunnel now since it's the 1st time NHL and owners have pressure and the whole season really is in jeopardy.
"Right now I'm optimistic and think the season will begin. We (players) have wondered why this has taken so long and NHL has taken that stance."
Selanne added that he believes the NHL has had a Jan. 19 deadline in mind for “some time.”
A few reminders on Teemu: He’s on a one-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks. He’s 12th all-time in goals and is 37 (in a row?) away from hitting 700, with Jaromir Jagr right ahead of him at 35 away. Using last year’s points per game average (0.80), Selanne could end up 15th all-time in points during a truncated 48-game season.
Also, Selanne is awesome and should never retire. Especially in a shortened season that won’t see him visit any Eastern Conference cities. Boo.