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Selanne benched by Granato
Former Sharks forward scratched for Game 2
4/24/04 - by Mike Lee

Colorado 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 roster.

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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