Selanne: 'If (Ducks) had any other coach, I'd still play'
Teemu Selanne revealed a strong dislike for Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau in his newly released biography. (KEVIN KING/QMI Agency)
If anybody other than Bruce Boudreau was working behind the Anaheim Ducks bench, Teemu Selanne believes he would have been reporting for training camp Thursday.
“If we had any other coach, I’d still play,” Selanne said in a biography entitled Teemu, according to translated excerpts acquired by Sportsnet. The book was just released in Finland.
Selanne’s distaste for Boudreau goes back to before his final season. Last summer, the veteran winger desired a larger role on offence and an escape from the Ducks coach. He considered contract offers from the Winnipeg Jets and Los Angeles Kings, but ultimately decided on a one-year deal with Anaheim after a face-to-face meeting with Boudreau during which Selanne claims he was promised more power play time and 15 minutes of ice time per game.
He fell a little short of that, averaging just over 14 minutes.
“Everything started well, but then my ice time got smaller, just like the previous year,” said Selanne. “Anything Boudreau had said wasn’t true.”
Things came to a head after a practice during the team’s first-round playoff series against the Dallas Stars when Selanne blew a gasket.
“I waited after everyone else had left the ice and skated to Boudreau,” he said. “I yelled at him right to his face with what I was thinking. I asked 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. Be honest for one time and answer.
“He just stammered that decisions were not his alone and it was a group decision. I asked which group and he said GM and scouts. I yelled at him, ‘Whoa, what kind of coach are you if you don’t even decide the lineup?’ He tried to skate away but I just yelled that I wasn’t finished.
“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.”
Selanne’s frustration spilled into the next round against L.A. During the first intermission while trailing the Kings 3-0 in Game 7 – the last game of his NHL career – he texted two words to his wife and a few friends.