|(NHL) Selanne to delay retirement plan as season to resume
Finnish superstar Teemu Selanne will get a chance to play at least one more more season, thanks to the end of the National Hockey League lockout.
The 42-year-old Anaheim Ducks star said in December that he would likely retire if the 2012-13 NHL season was canceled because of a labour dispute, AFP reports.
"Last week, I said 'You know what? Whatever happens at least we know what's going on.' Coming out today and seeing the teammates and training staff, it is a happy meeting,'' said Selanne at the Ducks' practice facility in Anaheim.
Selanne was speaking one day after the NHL owners and the players association ended their 113-day labour dispute in which the owners locked-out the players.
"It is going to be exciting every game is going to be like a playoff game,'' Selanne said.
Selanne, who was in his third NHL lockout, said earlier he would do whatever necessary to ensure the long-term health of the game. Even if that meant missing the whole season and ending his glittering 19-year career which has seen him score over 650 career goals.
"It is funny the last time there was a lockout it saved the end of my career. And this time it could have ended it,'' Selanne said.
Selanne says the 2004-05 season lockout ended up adding years to his career because it allowed him extra time to recover from knee surgery.
Selanne, dubbed the Finnish Flash, says he remembers older players making career sacrifices during the last lockout season.
"It is time again to look out for the future of this business of being a hockey player,'' Selanne told AFP in December. "It is not about one or two guys. It is frustrating but it is about the future.
"If you look at the last lockout and what kind of players' careers it cost -- Mark Messier, Ron Francis, Adam Oates, Vinny Damphousse. They are unbelievable players.
"Those guys were there for us, the younger players. They sacrificed their seasons for us.''
Early Sunday morning, the owners and players finally agreed in principle to a new collective bargaining agreement.
The league said the new labor package, which will reportedly be for 10 years, must be "drafted and formerly approved by both parties'' before it can be finalized.
Both sides continued to work on the "memorandum of understanding'' Tuesday which will be voted on by their constituents. The owners will vote on Wednesday while the players are expected to do the same Thursday and Friday.
If everything goes as planned, training camps could begin as early as the weekend.