Unfortunately, the answer is going to be a “yes” this time. For what seems like five or six years now, fans of the Anaheim Ducks, flashy players or just the NHL in general have been asking if this would be the last season for the future Hall Of Famer Teemu Selanne. Unfortunately this will be his final season.
Selanne was selected with the 10th pick by the Winnipeg Jets (first edition) in the 1988 NHL entry draft, taken after Mike Modano, Jeremy Roenick, Rod Brind’Amour and six other players. He is the only one still playing, and the stats are really incredible. With 1,387 games played, 675 goals, 755 assists for 1,430 points, he is a plus 87, with 10 All-Star appearances. There are enough stats and awards to fill the entire column.
One of the great things about the new NHL division alignment is that there will be a home and home with each team in each building at least once this season. When Selanne comes to your town, get a ticket. It might be the last time you get a chance to see the Finnish Flash in person. While there will always be the YouTube highlights, nothing compares to the live action of an NHL game.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a diehard Dallas Stars fan. Selanne has burned the Stars more times than I can remember, but I simply cannot do anything but marvel every time he touches the ice. He plays the game with speed, skill, grace and respect. He has great vision, an incredible shot and is a genuinely entertaining player.
Hockey fans in my age range have heard a million times that we missed some of the greats and I can’t really argue that. Most fans in my age range missed Wayne Gretzky in his prime, or were at least lucky enough to catch the end of it. Same thing goes for Paul Coffey, Mario Lemieux and countless other Hall Of Famers.
As he goes into each NHL city for the last time, take a second to appreciate that you are seeing a player who could easily play another three to five years at least. This is a player who played through the high scoring late 1980s, the trap style, defense first systems of the 1990s and into the post-lockout era, yet still managed to have a point per game average of 1.031. As he flies up the ice, take a second to appreciate a player who is going to push for 700 career goals and the 14th spot on the NHL all-time points leaderboard. Remember that this is a player who has the respect of every other player, coach and off ice personnel in the entire league. For a game that can get as nasty as hockey, I have yet to hear anyone ever say anything negative about him. That says a lot right there.
As the Anaheim Ducks season starts tomorrow night against the Colorado Avalanche, make sure that you see No. 8 when he takes the ice. A brilliant career is coming to a close. It seems like it has gone on forever now, but it will be over in a flash.
Read more from Dustin here.