ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) _ Teemu Selanne, who has scored an NHL-leading 50 goals, signed a two-year contract extension Thursday with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
The extension will keep the 27-year-old Selanne in Anaheim through the 2001-2002 season.
Terms were not disclosed, but sources from XTRA-AM in San Diego said Selanne will earn $7 million in each of the extra two years.
A member of the 1998 Finnish Olympic team, Selanne is third in the league with 86 points. Despite his performance, the Mighty Ducks are a longshot to make the playoffs with eight games remaining.
``It’s been a difficult year, but the one constant has been Teemu Selanne,″ general manager Jack Ferreira said. ``He’s had a brilliant season, and we just thought the timing was right to approach him and extend the contract.
``He never came to us; he was perfectly willing to play out his contract.″
Selanne, who signed the extension at a news conference, said that personal stability was the crucial factor for him.
``I’ve always liked security,″ he said. ``I’ve never been the type of person to go after the last dime, especially with this kind of money.
``This is a great place to play hockey. We have great fans and this is a great place to live. I’m happy that they really wanted to keep me here.″
Selanne also said his extension ``shows other players that we’re really serious about having success here.
``I think we are so hungry right now that we want to have success as soon as possible,″ he said.
A five-time All-Star, Selanne was selected by the former Winnipeg Jets in the first round of the 1988 draft. He began his NHL career in 1992 with the Jets, who traded him to Anaheim in 1996 for defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky, center Chad Kilger and a third-round draft choice.