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After considering retirement, Selanne agrees to one-year deal with Ducks

1/29/2008 - NHL Teemu Selanne Anaheim Ducks + more

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Teemu Selanne returned to the Stanley Cup
champion Anaheim Ducks on Monday after missing the first half of
the season while contemplating retirement.

The unrestricted free agent signed a one-year deal that will pay him more than $1.7 million, including incentives. Selanne will receive a pro-rated salary of $570,000, and a $1.2 million bonus will kick in if he plays at least 10 regular-season games or if the Ducks advance to the playoffs, both of which appear readily attainable.

Selanne practiced with the team before it departed Tuesday for an
eight-game, 15-day road trip.

"It was a pretty hard practice. I almost forgot how tough it
is," Selanne said afterward. "I really feel this is a good time
to come back and go on the road with my teammates. [The trip] gives
a little more privacy and the ability to get together with new
teammates and get back into action."

The 37-year-old Selanne nearly didn't come back, but then he
began attending games and being around the team made him want to be
part of the action.

"If Brian Burke had told me he needed a deadline in training
camp or November, I wouldn't be here today," he said.

Selanne said he didn't want to make a decision until his wife
gave birth to their daughter, Veera, which happened seven weeks ago.

"I was very happy to be home and spend the time with my boys
and the newborn," he said. "After that, I thought I would start
skating and see how I feel. Every day I started feeling better and
better. Then I called my agent and asked him to see if there was a
deal available."

Selanne followed Stanley Cup MVP Scott Niedermayer in returning
to the team. Niedermayer came back in December after pondering
retirement, and he scored a goal in Sunday's All-Star Game in
Atlanta.

Selanne had 48 goals and 46 assists last season, when he ranked
third in the NHL in goals, led the league in power-play goals with
25 and tied for first in game-winning goals with 10.

"We are thrilled to have him back," general manager Brian
Burke said. "This is a player who scored 48 goals last year and
showed no signs of slowing down."

Selanne had been skating at the Ducks' practice rink for the
past few weeks.

"I feel the passion again to play hockey," he said. "Anaheim
is the only place I wanted to play and I'm very happy that the
Samuelis [owners Henry and Susan] and Brian Burke have welcomed me
back."

The Finland native won his first Cup last season, scoring the
game-winning goal in overtime of Game 5 of the Western Conference
finals against Detroit.