All of the praying Duck’s fan have done to the hockey gods have finally been answered.
“The Finnish Flash,” Teemu Selanne, is going to make memories as a Duck for at least one more season; let’s just pray that the memories will carry over into the postseason this time.
This year will mark Selanne’s 20th season in the NHL; having played in Anaheim for 13 of those seasons. Even though his return was highly anticipated, the staff and fans can now let out a huge sigh of relief and focus their attention on the Bobby Ryan hoop-la.
The moment I heard of the news, my day was instantly that much better. Selanne is a hockey player who, if you’ve met him, is the most personable and genuine athlete you’ll ever meet. He is the fan favorite. He is Mr. Duck and he will retire as an Anaheim Duck. Not only does this man play a huge role on the ice, especially on the power play, he doesn’t need the captaincy to lead the team.
Did I mention that he’s also unselfish?
I’ll never forget, several years ago, reading that Selanne turned down being captain of the Ducks. At first I was shocked. He is the picture perfect captain with his skill, leadership and experience. As we all know, Selanne knows what’s best for him and he knew that he didn’t need to wear the “C” to make an impact; he also isn’t known for being the most vocal on the team. His actions speak louder than his words and you can find proof under his stats column. When Selanne speaks in the locker room, which he doesn’t do too often, everyone listens. It is the little things that Selanne does that we in Anaheim will miss when he decides to retire.
In general, I commend any 42-year-old athlete who is wanting to play for another season. Not many athletes can say they’ve played in a professional sport in their 40’s and did it successfully. Selanne’s numbers have far from dwindled with age. He is still good for at least 26 goals and 66 points in a season and that easily secures him a spot on the second line. Selanne states in a phone interview,
“Sometimes, age is just a number. Age is a funny thing. A lot of times, I don’t really feel 42. It’s just a number. It all depends on how you feel.”
After leading the Ducks in scoring last season, he still has flash and I hope he does for a couple more years. Yes, wishful thinking on my behalf, but look where it has gotten me; he’s back for another year. Afterall Selanne, age is nothing more then just a number.
We are all lucky, players and viewers, that we get to watch Selanne play for another season. I’ve been saying it for the past couple years, but treat this year as if it were Selanne’s last. I hope the Ducks can do the same and repay Selanne’s hard work and loyalty by having an unforgettable season.