CALGARY - It's not that Teemu Selanne didn't think he deserved another all-star nod.
It's just that he figured it was time for his equally deserving teammate to take his place, so he declined his invitation and asked the NHL to extend it to Corey Perry.
"I think it's a young guy's turn and obviously we have an MVP on our team. It's better if Perry goes," said the selfless 41-year-old Anaheim Ducks star prior to Thursday's clash with the Calgary Flames.
"It's his turn. I'm an old guy. The MVP should be there. It's better this way."
Did he do it because he's the consummate team player or did he simply want the week off?
"I owe him a dinner," laughed Selanne, insisting he has no plans other than watching his kids play in a hockey tourney that week. "It was a very easy decision."
Perry's 18 goals and 35 points make the Hart Trophy winner a formidable "replacement" but lag behind Selanne's 41 points in 41 games.
"For a guy near the end of his career to do something like that means something to me and shows what kind of guy he is," said Perry, admitting he was surprised.
"Yeah, a little bit. He says it could be his last year and last kick at the all-star game. But he's a guy that if something else comes up and he can help a guy get there, he will."
The Ducks head coach applauded the move too.
"That just goes to show what kind of guy Teemu is to say that the Hart Trophy winner should go," said Bruce Boudreau. "That's what he brings to the team every day and maybe one of the reasons he's lasted 21 years."