So we will get to see Anaheim Ducks winger Teemu Selanne after all.
By finally reaching a new collective bargaining agreement, the NHL and NHLPA guaranteed us another look at the Finnish Flash and several other big-time scorers in the twilight of their careers.
When play resumes, Selanne will continue his climb up the NHL’s all-time scoring ladder. While he is unlikely to reach the 700-goal plateau -- his career total is 663 goals -- he could reaching the Top 15 in total points this season.
Since turning 40 years old, Selanne has scored 146 points in two seasons. He has scored at least 26 goals in his last four seasons. He scored 66 points at the age of 41, with 28 coming on the power play.
Selanne starred even as younger Anaheim teammates were struggling mightily last season. He refuses to get old, so expect him to make the most of this potential farewell season.
He will be one of several league elders trying to deliver one more season of premium production.
Here are some others:
Martin St. Louis, W, Tampa Bay Lightning: He suffered a 25-point drop in production last season due largely to his team's power play outage. But this playmaking winger missed just five games with injuries, averaged 22 1/2 minutes of ice time and finished with 74 points. St. Louis, 37, remains a point-per-game threat this season within the Steven Stamkos-led Lightning offense. The addition of defensemen Matt Carle and Sami Salo to the power-play points should make Tampa Bay more efficient with the man advantage.
Ray Whitney, W, Dallas Stars: As a 39-year-old, he scored 77 points and tied for 12th in NHL scoring last season. The only other players to score that many points at that age since 2000-01 are Selanne (in 2010-11) and Hall of Famer Adam Oates (in 2000-01). Whitney leaves a nice set-up in Phoenix to join the Stars, where he could find himself playing with shooter Michael Ryder (35 goals last season) and former point-per-game center Derek Roy. Whitney should boost the Dallas power play; he scored at least 19 power-play points in eight of his previous nine seasons.
Jaromir Jagr, W, Dallas Stars: He roared back into the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers after a three-year hiatus in Europe. Jagr, 40, scored 31 points in his first 32 games last season. He faded in the second half, scoring 23 points in his last 41 games. Now he must quickly acclimate himself with a new team. Experts see his playmaking skills as a natural fit with sturdy Stars forward Jamie Benn. During the lockout Jagr scored 24 goals and added 27 assists for Rytiri Kladno in the Czech Republic's top league.
Daniel Alfredsson, W, Ottawa Senators: He appeared headed toward retirement a few years back after struggling to just 31 points and a minus-19 total. But Alfredsson, 40, bounced back to score 27 goals and add 32 assists last season for a resurgent team. His summer training left him feeling as good as new. “My body feels a lot further ahead of where it was last year at this point,” he told the Senators' website. “I expect to come into camp fitter and stronger than I did last year.” Alas, there was no training camp. More recently Alfredsson expressed frustration over the lockout and suggested he might not come back at all if the matter wasn’t resolved soon.
Jarome Iginla, W, Calgary Flames: He scored 67 points last season, his lowest total since 2005-06. He scored just 12 points in first 23 games while earning a minus-7 rating. But don’t write him off just yet. He finished well, scoring 19 points in his last 19 games. Iginla, 35, looked more like the player who scored 43 goals and added 43 assists the season before. Before a long-overdue influx of legitimate young scorers will prod Iginla back toward his usual all-star form.
Patrik Elias, W/C, New Jersey Devils: The lockout helped him recover from off-season groin muscle repairs. And he got better as he got older, jumping from 48 points to 62 and 78 points the last two seasons. Elias, 36, scored 29 points on the power play after scoring just 31 PPP the previous two seasons combined. The Devils will miss departed scorer Zach Parise this season, but Travis Zajac’s return to full strength should provide a boost.
Andy McDonald, W/C, St. Louis Blues. Injuries have limited him to just 83 games during the last two seasons. But he scored 10 goals and added 22 assists in 25 games last season. He has generally played on one of the top lines since coming to St. Louis and averaged 0.81 points per game. Former coach Andy Murray shifted McDonald, 35, to the wing and that move allowed him to better use his speed. He also plays a key role on the St. Louis power play.
Shane Doan, W, Phoenix Coyotes: This franchise's financial instability caused the team captain to shop around before re-upping in the Valley of the Sun. Now Doan, 36, hopes to finish his career in Glendale. The reliable power forward has scored 20 or more goals 11 times in the last 12 years. Last year he produced 50 points in 79 regular season games and nine more in 16 playoff games.
Ryan Smyth, W, Edmonton Oilers: He scored 26 points in first 26 games last season before yielding some even-strength and power-play time to his talented young teammates. His production faded, leading his fourth consecutive season points reduction. But Smyth, 36, starred at the Spengler Cup in Switzerland during the lockout, so his hands are still good. It’ll be interesting to see how Edmonton’s offensive chemistry evolves beyond the obvious Jordan Eberle/Ryan Nugent-Hopkins pairing.