Former Anaheim Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne took a shot at his ex-coach, Bruce Boudreau, in his new biography “Teemu.”
Teemu Selanne Rips Bruce Boudreau in New Biography
Photo Credit: Getty Images
The book is written by Ari Mennander in Finnish. The Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott obtained a copy of the book and used Google Translate as well as clarifications from Finnish journalist Juha Hiitela to go through the book:
“Teemu Selanne confronted Ducks Bruce Boudreau during the team’s playoff series against (the) Dallas (Stars) last spring to ask why Boudreau ‘was not appreciative of me one iota’ and had humiliated him by making him a healthy scratch for the fourth game, according to a new biography of the hockey player that was to be released Thursday in Selanne’s native Finland.
“‘Teemu,’ a 320-page collaboration between the prolific right wing and Finnish writer Ari Mennander that was written in Finnish, details Selanne’s life and outstanding international and NHL careers. It tells the story — and provides pictures — of Selanne’s life from his childhood through his Hall of Fame feats and his retirement after last season.
“The Times obtained a PDF file of the book in Finnish and used Google Translate, in addition to getting clarifications from another Finnish journalist, Juha Hiitela, to read it.
“Selanne, who was scheduled to promote the book Thursday in Finland, saved his sharpest barbs for what he perceived as unfair treatment from Boudreau, saying the coach didn’t give him the power-play prominence or ice time Selanne believed he deserved in his later years.
“Selanne said that after his strong performance for bronze medalist Finland at the Sochi Olympics he was promised increased playing time by Boudreau but that the coach didn’t keep those promises. Selanne said he got to play four games with first-line center Ryan Getzlaf and did well, but ‘after, all continued as before.’
“Selanne said his patience wore out during the playoffs, when he learned he would be a healthy scratch for the first time in a decade. Accoding to Selanne, he told Boudreau ‘that if you want to win some in the playoffs, you need me.’ He said Boudreau stammered in responding that he made lineup decisions in consultation with General Manager Bob Murray and the team’s scouts. Selanne said he did not talk to Boudreau again after that and skipped the traditional end-of-season exit interview.
“Hiitela said Selanne noted that he has nothing personal against Boudreau, portraying their differences as hockey-related. Selanne had nine goals and 27 points in 64 regular-season games last season before producing two goals and six points in 12 playoff games.
“Selanne also said that after the Ducks lost to the (Los Angeles) Kings in the second round of the playoffs, Kings coach Darryl Sutter, who had coached Selanne in San Jose, told him the Kings were glad Selanne hadn’t played a greater role in that series because Selanne then might have turned the series in the Ducks’ favor.”
SportsNet.Ca’s Chris Johnston delved deeper into the Selanne book, particularly the Finnish star’s relationship with Boudreau:
“Anaheim trailed the Kings 3-0 at the first intermission of the deciding game. Selanne knew that it would likely be the last of his NHL career and took out his phone between periods to text his wife and a couple (of) friends: ‘f—ing joke.’
“In his mind, Boudreau deserved most of the blame for that team’s failure to win a championship.
“‘It would have been wrong if we had won the Stanley Cup with a coach like that,’ said Selanne.
“After the loss, he went out for dinner with family and friends and spoke about Boudreau for four hours, according to the biography.
“The book also reveals that Selanne considered contract offers from the Winnipeg Jets and Los Angeles Kings during the summer of 2013 because he wasn’t keen on another season under the Ducks coach. Ultimately, the two men sat down for a meeting where Selanne claims he was promised power-play time and around 15 minutes of ice time per night.
“He ended up falling a little short of that mark with an average of 14:07.
“‘Everything started well, but then my ice time got smaller, just like the previous year,’ said Selanne. ‘Anything Boudreau had said wasn’t true.’
“…The tension came to a head between Games 3 and 4 of a first-round series with Dallas last spring when Selanne got word that he would be scratched the next night. It prompted a confrontation.
“‘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-5 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 a 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.’
“As heated as the moment was, getting those feelings off his chest came with a relief for Selanne.
“‘It felt really good,’ he said.
“While the biography notes that he didn’t have any issues with Boudreau as a person — “He is actually a nice man” — it’s clear that their working relationship was pretty strained. In summing up his final NHL season, one where Selanne scored just nine times in 64 games, the winger said: ‘You are as good as your coach wants you to be.'”
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