Teemu Ilmari Selänne
Born July 3, 1970 (age 41) in Helsinki, Finland
Right winger and alternate captain for the Anaheim Ducks
I apologize that this was late – I had some family matters to attend to, but finally found some time to get this finished. Now, on with our post! – K
After the Ducks-Jets game this weekend, we knew he had to be profiled! He began his hockey career with Jokerit, winning championships with both the junior ans senior teams. The old Winnipeg Jets (now in Phoenix) drafted him in 1988, and began playing for them in the 1992-93 season. He scored his first goal against the San Jose Sharks in October 1992 and went on to score a record 132 points (including 76 goals), earning him the Calder Trophy. An injury held him back in his second season, and the 1994-95 lockout sent him back to Jokerit for a while, but he came back to Winnipeg to play. Then the Jets decided to trade him to Anaheim – Teemu was not happy with this decision at first, but then he realized that he could do some good for the Ducks.
Teemu spent five whole seasons with the Ducks, picking up a nomination for the Lady Byng Trophy, becoming the first European to be All-Star MVP in 1998 and leading the NHL in goals two years in a row. But in 2001 he was traded to the San Jose Sharks, and in the two years he spent with them he was almost traded to the New Jersey Devils, but he told them no. After that, he signed with the Colorado Avalanche, but he had a terrible season and needed surgery on his knee. By this time the league was in lockout again, and Teemu signed with Jokerit. He never got to play with them, though, because his rehab took longer than he thought. But for the 2005-06 season, he went back home, so to speak.
Teemu returned to Anaheim, where he’s stayed ever since. For his comeback as an elite player, he was awarded the Masterson Trophy in 2006 – in that first year back, he scored his 1000th career point and racked up 90 points in 80 games. Since then, he’s reached so many milestones that it’s hard to keep track, but he’s most notably one of only three European-trained players to reach 600 goals (Jaromir Jagr and Jari Kurri being the others). Internationally, he’s played in five Olympics, five World Championships, the 1991 Canada Cup and two World Cup of Hockey games. As for the hardware, he’s garnered silver and bronze in two World Championships and three Olympics, including bronze in Vancouver in 2010.
I’m glad he got a good reception when he went back to Winnipeg for the first time in fifteen years this weekend, even if the fans blurred the line between the old franchise and the new one. It was even sweeter to see him score a goal against the new team. Even though the Ducks are a Western Conference rival of my team, Teemu has nothing but the utmost respect from me and always will.