| Selanne benched by
Former Sharks forward scratched for Game
4/24/04 - by Mike Lee
head coach Tony Granato, a former Shark forward, helped expedite the coaching
career of another former Shark on Saturday afternoon by relegating Teemu
Selanne to the press box where he could scout the opposition. Selanne got a
birds-eye view of the action and was able to ponder to possibility of a career
change to the coaching ranks someday. Granato has been unhappy with Selanne's
performance in the playoffs, so the return of Alex Tanguay prompted Granato to
make a move. The selection was surprising given that Granato could have easily
benched rookie winger Marek Svatos or a host of other players, but instead sat
one of the most prolific scorers in NHL history.
The move had delight
Sharks management. The Finnish Flash elected to forgo the option year of his
contract with San Jose and actually took less money to play with the Avalanche.
Selanne felt that the Sharks were in a rebuilding mode and that he'd have a
better chance of winning a Stanley Cup with Colorado.
On paper, the
addition of Selanne and Paul Kariya had many pundits awarding the Avalanche the
Cup before the season even started. Colorado was in the drivers seat in the
Western Conference's Northwest Division for much of the regular season, but a
cold spell late in the year dropped the Avalanche to the 4th seed in the west.
Selanne had the worst production in his 12 year career (16 goals, 16
assists), and spent much of the season on Colorado's 4th line. He is averaging
11:49 of ice time in the playoffs, the lowest of any player on the Avalanche
Given that nobody on the Avalanche roster is scoring with
enough frequency in the series with San Jose to extend their season much
longer, Granato may be forced to play Selanne in Game 3.
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