Selanne's decision came one day after defenseman Scott Niedermayer informed the Ducks that he will play another NHL season, though he stands to become an unrestricted free agent Wednesday and still must reach terms on a new contract.
The return of Selanne, along with center Ryan Getzlaf and wingers Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan and newly obtained Joffrey Lupul, gives the Ducks five established top-six forwards for next season. The Ducks re-acquired Lupul in a Friday trade that sent veteran defenseman Chris Pronger to the Philadelphia Flyers.
So Niedermayer and Selanne will both attempt to play a full season of NHL hockey together for the first time since 2006-07. No more veteran vacation shenanigans. It's good to see.
As Ducks Blog points out, Anaheim has had a terrific couple of days. Niedermayer and Selanne back; Lupul ready to contribute on a top scoring line; and the addition of Luca Sbisa in the Pronger deal to bolster the blue line in case they lose Francois Beauchemin to free agency.
Two points of interest on the Pronger trade. First, GM Bob Murray is claiming that he would have moved Pronger even if Niedermayer decided not to return. Stu Hackel of the New York Times had a good piece on Pronger, including this assessment of what he brings to the Philadelphia Flyers:
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He acquired a key piece that may have turned a good team into a contender and perhaps - depending on a few other factors, such as how well Ray Emery plays in goal - a very strong team into a Cup favorite.
The question, as the headline on Hackel's piece asks: Will Pronger Change East Balance of Power?