The Anaheim Ducks will honor one of the greatest players in franchise history this week, Teemu Selanne. Selanne retired at the end of last season after a 21-year NHL career, of which he spent the last nine of in a second stint at Anaheim.
The festivities will begin when the Ducks host a screening Thursday night of SEL8NNE, a documentary about the life and career of the Finnish Flash. On Saturday, the Ducks are hosting an event that is free and open to the public, where Selanne’s Trophies will be on display. These include the Stanley Cup, which Selanne won with the Ducks in 2006, the Clarence Campbell Bowl, the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, the Calder Memorial Trophy and Bill Masterton Trophy.
Anaheim will then have a “Teemu Tribute Night” where Selanne will be honored and the Ducks will raise his number 8 to the rafters of Honda Center during Anaheim’s game against the Winnipeg Jets, Selanne’s original team.
After being drafted by the Jets in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft, Selanne made his NHL debut with the Jets in the 1992-93 season, where he finished with 80 goals in 90 games. After five seasons in Winnipeg, he was traded to the then-Mighty Ducks of Anaheim where he scored 215 goals in five and a half years. He then spent three seasons in Colorado and one in San Jose before returning to Anaheim in 2005, the season before he was an integral part of the Ducks team that won the 2007 Stanley Cup.
“The 2007 Stanley Cup has to be the biggest crown for my career,” Selanne said after last year’s loss to the Kings. “To be honest, the most proud I am is I have been able to play so many years and at this age. You all know when you get older, it’s not going to get any easier. But to be able to compete against these young guys and still enjoy this and play well, that has been the greatest thing in my career. I’m really thankful for that.”
He played 1,451 regular season games in the NHL and another 129 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He’s scored 684 regular-season goals, 11th all-time in the NHL, and 44 in the playoffs.
But Selanne’s legacy in Anaheim goes past his accomplishments on the ice.
After his final game last season, when Anaheim was eliminated by the Los Angeles Kings in Game 7 of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Selanne was met with a teary-ovation from the Honda Center crowd, as they chanted, “Let’s go, Teemu,” with even Kings fans joining in. The Kings players then stayed on the ice after the game clapping their sticks to pay their respects to Selanne.
“I’ve been flirting with this decision for a long time, but the passion and the fun always brought me back,” Selanne said moments after his career ended. “I still love this game, and I still know I can play, but it is better this way than having different situations, and that’s why I think it is the right time.”
This will be the third and final matchup between the Ducks and Jets this season, with the Ducks winning the first two meetings in Winnipeg 4-3 and 4-1, respectively, in December.
THW Ducks Contributor