Teemu Selanne has definitely made his mark in the NHL – playing 20 seasons in the league and still holding the NHL rookie record with 76 goals in his first season. Along with players such as Jari Kurri and Saku Koivu, Selanne – also known as the Finnish Flash – has helped pave the way for Finnish players in the league with his finesse and skills.
At the age of 43, the topic of retirement has surrounded him. Selanne has been on the fence about his retirement even before Scott Niedermayer said goodbye to the game he loved, and that was well over three years ago. Needless to say, and it probably has been said countless times, Selanne will either retire next week or play for one more season.
He even said so this week to the Orange County Register, “By next week, I know what I’m going to do,” he said. Anaheim being Selanne’s home isn’t the question. It has been his home for 13 years and he will most likely remain there as he not only has been raising his family in Southern California, but jumping in to some business ventures as well.
I think Selanne has one more year left in him. He still put up 12 goals in a shortened season – three less than former Hart trophy recipient Corey Perry. Like so many other future hall of famers – Chris Chelios, Dominic Hasek, Nicklas Lidstrom, Jaromir Jagr etc… – Selanne has yet to show that his play and his passion has diminished significantly.
Last year the Anaheim Ducks got ousted in the first round after a young Detroit Red Wing team took them surprise and won in seven. Since then the Bobby Ryan has parted ways and gone to Ottawa , the Ducks acquired Jakob Silfverberg, Stepehn Noesen and a first-round pick. Silfverberg registered 10 goals last year in his rookie season with the Senators and prior to that, he was the MVP in the Swedish Elite League. The kid definitely has potential and could be a bright spot in the Ducks’ future. In essence, some may say the Ducks have gotten better and if not, they will still be in contention come this season. That alone is a huge factor in Selanne’s decision; whether or not Anaheim even can make the playoffs again.
But aside from that, Selanne is probably wanting to participate in one more thing before he hangs them up; the Winter Olympics that begins this coming February.
Since the Ducks are in good shape and the fact that Selanne would still play a huge role in every facet on the ice, those are a few reasons why he won’t retire just yet, but that’s not the main one. The Finnish Flash will want to finish his professional career by representing his home; wearing blue and white for the last time in Sochi, Russia.