Teemu Selanne has a book coming out in Finland. It’s a 320-page tome called “Teemu” that chronicles his life at and away from the rink. It appears to very much capture the essence of Teemu: Captivating and jovial, with occasional bursts of intense, aggressive professional pride.
One target of that pride: Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, whom Selanne blasts as an ill-prepared oaf who lacks the respect of his players and, basically, was the reason Selanne both considered leaving the Ducks and eventually retiring after last season.
Selanne on Boudreau and the Ducks:
“It would have been wrong if we had won the Stanley Cup with coach like that.”
“You are as good as you your coach wants you to be. If we had any other coach, I’d still be playing.”
Selanne said that his feud with Boudreau ran so deep that he considered leaving the Ducks in 2013 to sign with the rival Los Angeles Kings or – and that sound you’re about to hear are thousands of hearts breaking in Manitoba – the Winnipeg Jets, the city where he first played in the NHL.
He said Boudreau promised him power-play time and an average of 15 minutes of ice time in 2013-14, and that he wanted to see Selanne reach the 700 goal plateau.
“Season started well, but after that my time on ice declined, just like previous year. He didn’t keep any of his promises,” said Selanne.
According to the book, Selanne texted his wife and friends during intermission that the Ducks’ Game 7 performance against the Kings in the Western Conference Semifinal was “a f—king joke.”
Selanne and Boudreau clashed all season over his usage and ice time, although there was a bit of a reprieve after the star winger lit up the Olympic Games in Sochi. "I got to play with [Ryan] Getzlaf the next four games, scored two goals and four points. After that everything went back to way it was before."
Selanne spoke about confronting Boudreau after Game 4 of the Ducks’ series vs. the Dallas Stars last season.
"I yelled him right to his face what I was thinking. I ask what he has against me. I told him that since he became our coach, he has not respected me one bit. You never put me on ice when we play 5-on-3 or 4–on-4 or when we are one goal behind in the end of the game,” he said.
"Be honest for one time and answer! He just stammered that decisions we not his alone and it was a group decision."
This did not sit well with Teemu "I ask which group and he said GM and scouts. I yelled him ‘wow, what kind of a coach you are if you don’t even decide lineup!’”
Selanne continued: "He tried to skate away but I just yelled I wasn’t finish. I told Boudreau if you ever want to win something in a playoffs. you’re going to need me. Nobody else wants to win as much as me. It felt really good."
Finally, Selanne said for the first time in his career, the head coach didn’t meet the players at exit meetings. “He probably sensed that there was so many guys who would have just wanted to yell everything to him."
Head over to Juha Hiitela’s feed for more on Selanne, including criticism of Ryan Getzlaf for not getting his back and some harsh words for former Ducks coach Randy Carlyle.
Does Selanne have a right to gripe?
Here’s his ice time for the three seasons under Boudreau, keeping in mind the coach took over for the last 58 games of 2011-12.
Total Avg. TOI
Power Play Avg. TOI
Selanne led the team with 28 power-play points in 2011-12. He managed just seven in 46 games the following season. Last season, with increased ice time, he had eight points in 64 games.
One of the reasons why Selanne’s performance in Sochi was so incredible was that he was basically a non-factor for the Ducks leading up to the games. Before heating up in January, Selanne had 11 points in his first 32 games, including a scoreless November (11 games). He was looking very much like a 42-year-old player.
When he was infamously scratched for Game 4 of the Ducks series, it was during a stretch that saw Selanne fail to tally a goal in his last 11 games. (He had four assists.) The scratch also came after a 3-0 humbling by the Stars in Game 3.
Anyone that watched Selanne in the last two seasons understands why his ice time declined. His offense fell off a cliff: Selanne had a 0.52 points per game average in 2012-13 and a 0.42 average in his last season, his worst offensive seasons in the NHL and lowest point averages since 2001-02.
You can blame the way he was being used, sure. Or you can correlate ice time with effectiveness.
Or, perhaps, you can assume that Selanne’s happiness was a factor in his performance, which might also explain why he was in beast mode during the Sochi Games.
The deeper question for the Ducks is whether this isn’t just a legend with a bruised ego, spouting off at a coach who had the nerve to acknowledge a 42-year-old’s skills had eroded. Is Selanne an isolated incident, or is there a respect gap between the Ducks and their affable coach?
Bottom line: We need an English version of “Teemu,” stat …