Beyond The Benches

Teemu Selanne Releases Tell-All Book

From 1995 until his retirement on May 16, 2014 (with short stops with the San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche), Teemu Selanne built his legacy with the Anaheim Ducks. On January 11 the Club will retire his No.8 before their home game against Selanne’s former team, Winnipeg Jets. The 44-year-old celebrates over 1,500 NHL games that included 684 regular season goals, 44 playoff goals and a total 1,545 points over four teams in the League.

Recently his self-titled book Teemu hit the shelves in Finland on Thursday that led to an unexpected book review from the Ducks at the start of training camp. Thanks to bilingual hockey reporter Juha Hiitelä who lightly translated the text in his Twitter feed, we are able to get a glimpse into the book before the English version is released in 2015.

Hiitelä reminds readers that the context and tone in the translation is not as bitter as the words at face value portray, but generally, the message is pretty clear.

As a confident, highly-skilled, veteran forward, Selanne felt head coach Bruce Boudreau was not utilizing him nearing the end of his NHL career. Boudreau reportedly promised Selanne a spot on both power-play units and 15-minutes of ice time per night. The promise was upheld and diminished through the course of the 2013-14 season.

At the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Selanne was awarded Most Valuable Player where Finland won the bronze medal. Notably, he has played in five Olympic games. By Selanne’s request, Boudreau placed him alongside captain Ryan Getzlaf in four games where he scored two goals and four points. After Selanne was removed from the line his productivity slipped.

A highly frustrated Selanne was later scratched from Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal against the Dallas Stars that led to a verbal dispute with Boudreau.

“I yelled him right to his face what I was thinking,” Selanne says in his book (as translated by Hiitelä). “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 5on3 or 4on4 or when we are one goal behind in the end of the game.”

In response, Boudreau explained that the decision to scratch Selanne from the game was the result of consultation from general manager Bob Murray and scouting staff.

“When you’re a great player your whole life, you want him to want more and to be the best guy and everything else,” Boudreau told NHL.com. “I understand where he comes from… I didn’t like to hear that in a book, but I understand. I’m sure it was in frustration more than anything else.”

Former teammate and now-Calgary Flame Jonas Hiller told the Calgary Sun, “I don’t think he was too happy there all the time. He was hoping to get some more ice time especially on the power play and I don’t think Bruce really gave him that time. He had proven at the Olympics that he is still one of the best at scoring goals.”

Selanne followed the perceptive responses from Boudreau and the Ducks organization with a statement of his own Friday morning admitting the situation was simply a difference of opinion in hockey style.

“In the book, I tried to explain honestly what happened last year in frustration, I made several comments following our Game 7 loss to the Kings that I shouldn’t have said,” Selanne told NHL.com. “As I’ve said many times, Bruce is a nice guy, but we simply had a different view on my role with the Ducks. I’m sorry if I hurt Bruce or anyone else, that was not my intent.”

 

Hillary McLeod is a sport management student at Brock University and a public relations graduate. She is a lover of the Leafs with a soft spot for Kings hockey. You can find her glues to the TV for Sunday Night Football or on Twitter @hillary_mcleod.