Former NHL player Teemu Selanne was one of the greatest players the game has ever seen. He built an impressive résumé that included 684 goals and 773 assists in 1,451 games, won a Stanley Cup in 2007 as a member of the Anaheim Ducks, and won the first-ever Rocket Richard Trophy in 1999. Also, his 76 goals in his rookie campaign is an NHL record that will likely never be broken.
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Simply put, the now-retired man knows a thing or two about having success as a hockey player. That said, it seems the 52-year-old has been tuning into Edmonton Oilers games as of late. On Jan. 11 he gave a shoutout to Connor McDavid, when he tweeted, “Ladies and gentleman [the] Connor McDavid show in Anaheim wow.. never seen a player like this” after the Oilers’ captain pivoted on a dime to lose Trevor Zegras and roofed a backhand goal past John Gibson.
Yet, it’s likely Selanne focused in on another player as well during the match between the Oilers and Ducks, like fellow countryman Jesse Puljujarvi, because on Jan. 16, seemingly out of nowhere, he posted to Twitter, “Trade Puljujarvi, he needs and deserves new fresh start somewhere else..”
Puljujarvi put up a respectable 36-point campaign in 2021-22 and signed a one-year $3 million contract this past summer. However, after scoring only four goals in the first half of this season, it’s safe to say things aren’t working out the way both he and the team imagined. Overall, Selanne is right and the best course of action would be for the Oilers to offload him to another team. It would be mutually beneficial — Puljujarvi gets a fresh start, and Edmonton frees up an additional $3 million in cap space.
Puljujarvi Has Been Physical, but Hasn’t Produced Offensively
Puljujarvi is perhaps one of the most polarizing Oilers in recent memory. The analytics community loves him and on the opposite side, many in Oil Country feel he’s not worth the $3 million price tag. According to Natural Stat Trick, he’s posted a 52.01 Corsi (CF%), 53.71 high-danger chances for (HDCF%), and 2.47 expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) this season. Those are solid underlying analytics, but the fact of the matter is, it hasn’t translated well (four goals) on the scoresheet. The concern is also highlighted because the forward he’s played the most minutes with at 5-on-5 is McDavid (177…