25 years of hockey
Final season of the career … The previous season was supposed to have been the last one … Both a book and a film documentary were in the works, but only “Sel8nne”, the documentary came out since Teemu decided to play “one more year”, pushing the book back a year … Highlight of the last season was the Sochi Olympics… Teemu captained Team Finland to a bronze medal … Voted MVP of the Olympic tournament … Played in his sixth Olympics as the second hockey player in history … A fellow Finn, Raimo Helminen was the first … Struggled with ice time in Anaheim, coached by Bruce Boudreau … Scored 9+18=27 points in 64 regular season games, added 2+4=6 points in 12 playoff games.
My career in a nutshell? I lived in the now. I enjoyed every moment.
Teemu’s NHL career in numbers: 21 seasons, 1451 games, 1457 (684+773) points in the regular season, and 130 games and 88 (44+44) points in the playoffs.
Teemu’s Team Finland career in numbers: 14 tournaments, 96 games, and 102 (54+48) points.
The last game of the career, Game 7 of the conference semifinal against the Los Angeles Kings on May 16, 2014.
Last regular season game
Played his last regular season game on April 13, 2014, against the Colorado Avalanche. The Ducks won the game 3-2 (OT), Teemu was the team’s captain.
Scored his last goal on May 8, 2014 on the Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, assisted by Nick Bonino and Hampus Lindholm. Game 3 of the conference semifinal, Anaheim won the game 3-2.
Olympic bronze medal as the oldest player in the tournament. Team Finland captain. Led his team in goals, second in points with 4+2=6 in six games (behind Mikael Granlund). Seventh in tournament scoring. Voted tournament MVP and All-Star Team in Sochi, Russia.
This was the year when the hockey world learned the slogan, “One more year” … Teemu had waved goodbye to the Ducks fans already twice, but decided to sign for another year again … An NHL lockout cancelled the first half of the season, and only 48 games were played in the regular season … Teemu score 12+12=24 points in 46 games … Ducks lost another Game 7 to the Detroit Red Wings in the first round … Teemu scored one goal, added two assists in the seven games … Voted Finland’s player of the year for the ninth, and final, time.
Some older man shouted that ‘hey, Selänne, let the kids play’.
Scored his 1426th points and passed Bryan Trottier on the all-time scoring list in a game against the Detroit Red Wings on March 22, 2013.
Scored two, added two assists in the first game of the season in Vancouver on January 19, 2013, passing Dale Hawerchuk on the all-time scoring list
Played his 1373rd regular season game and passed Teppo Numminen on the Finnish-born players’ list. Fourth on the European players list behind Nicklas Lidström, Roman Hamrlik and Jaromir Jagr. March 25, 2013.
Scored his 669th goal and moved ahead of Luc Robitaille on the all-time goal scoring list (11th overall) on March 1, 2013.
February 24, 2103: Scored his 250th powerplay goal and passed Phil Esposito on the all-time list, with only Dave Andreychuk and Brett Hull ahead of him.
Played his 20th NHL season … Played all 82 games … Anaheim kicked off its season at the NHL Premiere event in Helsinki … Emotional return to his hometown … Was greeted as a superhero in Winnipeg on December 17, 2011, as the Jets had returned to the city … Ducks missed the playoffs … Became the leading Finnish-born scorer in NHL history, surpassing Jari Kurri on the list.
It all boils down to the same thing as when I was a kid: a passion for the game. You either have it, or you don’t.
Scored 1400th regular season point as the second European player in NHL history (Jaromir Jagr was the first), assisted by Saku Koivu, in a game against Detroit on March 14, 2012.
Scored his 1398th point and passed Jari Kurri on the Finnish-born players scoring list in a game against the Colorado Avalanche on March 12, 2012.
Took over the 24th place on the all-time scoring list from the Canadiens legendary forward Guy Lafleur on March 1, 2011, in a game against the Washington Capitals.
Only Gordie Howe (71 points as a 41-year-old in 1969) had scored more points than Teemu at the same age. He scored 26+40=66 points in 82 games.
Decided to keep on playing … Finished in the top 10 in NHL scoring for the first time in 11 years, since 2000 … Was named the Ducks alternate captain after five years without wearing a letter … Anaheim lost to the Nashville Predators in the first round … Teemu scored six goals in the six games of the series.
I’m against violence, and have always been, but defending yourself on the ice is a part of playing in the NHL.
Passed Joe Sakic to take over the 14th place on the all-time goal scoring list in a game against the Kings on February 23, 2011.
Scored his 611th goal and passed Bobby Hull on the all-time goal scoring list in a game against the Dallas Stars on October 26, 2010.
Scored 31+49=80 points in 73 games, finishing eighth in league scoring. Added 6+1=7 points in the six post-season games.
Only two players have scored more points after their 40th birthday: Gordie Howe and Johnny Bucyk.
Teemu’s third and last fight in the NHL, against the Kings’ Brad Richardson, on April 9, 2011. The first two were during his rookie season, against the Oilers’ Tyler Wright and the Blackhawks’ Chris Chelios.
Team Finland’s superduo Teemu Selänne – Saku Koivu joined forces in the NHL when the Montreal Canadiens captain signed with the Ducks … Teemu suffered three injuries that kept him to 54 games … Scored 48 points (27G, 21A) in 54 regular season games … Anaheim missed the playoffs … Won bronze in his fifth Olympic tournament in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
This is definitely my last season as a player, and my last chance to win something big with team Finland. An Olympic gold medal would be a great crown to my career.
Passed Jari Kurri as the leading Finnish-born goal scorer in the NHL when he scored his 602th (and 603rd) goal in a game against the Vancouver Canucks on April 2, 2010.
Scored his 600th regular season goal as the third European player behind Kurri and Jaromir Jagr, and 18th in NHL history, in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks on March 21, 2010.
Turns 40 and attends the annual Bermuda Closed celebrity tennis tournament’s 30th anniversary at Hotel Kalastajatorppa in Helsinki on July 3, 2010.
Last hurrah for the Jere Lehtinen - Saku Koivu - Selänne line. Teemu scored 0+2=2 points in six games, in his fifth Olympic tournament.
Became the leading scorer in Olympic hockey: 20+17=37 points in 31 games.
Surprised everybody by signing a two-year deal with the Anaheim Ducks … No pondering the next summer … Ducks ousted from the playoffs in the second round, after losing Game 7 to the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 … Teemu scored one and added an assist in the game.
I loved to play so there was no reason for me to retire.
Reached 1200 points as the sixth European player, and 45th player overall in a game against the Nashville Predators on March 18, 2009.
Scored 54 points in 65 games during his 16th NHL season. Added six points in 13 post-season games.
To go to Kurri
At the start of the season, he was 49 goals from Jari Kurri’s 601 NHL goals, a record by Finnish-born players.
Missed 17 games when his own skate cut a deep wound in his thigh in a game, his 1100th in the league, against the Edmonton Oilers on December 19, 2008.
Wasn’t sure if he wanted to return to the NHL … Made his comeback on February 5, 2008, against the New York Islanders … The Ducks visited the White House and met President George W. Bush during that same road trip … Lost to the Dallas Stars in the first round of playoffs … Voted Finland’s best player for the eighth time … Daughter Veera was born.
I was convinced I was done. I had no hunger left. In the end, the desire to play took over.
Passed Paul Kariya on the Anaheim Ducks all-times scoring list in a game against the Calgary Flames on February 17, 2008. Totaling 669 points.
Played only 26 games in the regular season, scored 23 points. Added 2+2=4 points in six playoff games.
Scored his 20th hat-trick in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks on February 24, 2008.
Wins bronze at the Worlds with Team Finland, his second World Championship medal. Third in team scoring with seven points in nine games.
Won the Stanley Cup, finally … The impossible became possible in June 2007 … Teemu capped off a great career by winning the Stanley Cup as the team’s leading scorer at the age of 36 … Became the oldest played in NHL history to score 45 goals in a season and the first player over 35 to score 40 goals in two consecutive seasons … Voted Finland’s player of the year after a six year’s break.
I can’t describe the feeling I had when I hoisted the Stanley Cup. I had dreamt of winning something big for fifteen years, and had waited that moment with every fibre in my body. It was great to win it in front of our home crowd, too.
Played his 1000th NHL game on December 31, 2006, against the Minnesota Wild.
Scored his 500th regular season goal as the 36 played in NHL history, in a game against the Avalanche, on March 22, 2006.
Finished 11th in the scoring race with 94 points in 82 games. Third in goal scoring with 48 goals. Scored 15 points in 21 playoff games.
The biggest goal of his career. Beat Dominik Hasek in Game 5 of the conference final against the Detroit Red Wings on May 20, 2007.
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
A successful knee operation and the NHL lockout added nine years to Teemu’s career … “The Finnish Flash” returned to the elite of the league … Anaheim played in the conference finals, Teemu led team in scoring in both the regular season and the playoffs … Played in the Torino Olympics, and won silver with Team Finland … Led the tournament in scoring and goal scoring … best Forward, Olympic All-Star Team … Awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy, given to the “player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.”
The Torino team was the best team I ever played on, and the silver my best accomplishment with the national team.
Scored the 1000th regular season points on January 30, 2006 in a game against the Kings, as the second Finn to reach the milestone.
Back in business: Scored 40+50=90 points in 80 games, added 6+8=14 points in 16 post-season games.
Who’d a thunk it? Teemu finished 13th in NHL scoring.
Anaheim didn’t think Teemu would be back and Latvia defenseman Sandis Ozonlish wore number 8. Teemu’s “second career” began with the same number as the first one.
Played in his fourth Olympics in Turin, Italy; scored 6+5= 11 points in 8 games.
Did not play
Career turning point … Did not play after the World Cup of Hockey … Had a knee operation, rehabilitation at home in California … World Cup final … Every player in Finland’s first line, Jere Lehtinen – Saku Koivu – Selänne, played injured … Career more likely to end than to continue.
I had played with one leg for three years. I was prepared to end my career.
Orthopedic surgeon and friend Ismo Syvähuoko performs a major surgery on Teemu’s knee on a Helsinki clinic on September 20, 2004.
Wanted to play in the fourth game of SM-liiga final, but Jokerit turned him down. Oulu Kärpät wins championship.
Scored 1+3=4 points in six World Cup games, fourth on Team Finland.
NHL lockout cancelled the entire season.
Started the season on a line with Paul Kariya and Joe Sakic … Ended up in the third and fourth lines … Colorado’s head coach Tony Granato made him a healthy scratch in a second-round playoff game to complete the humiliation … Decides to have a knee operation … Prepares for end of career but committed to playing in the World Cup because a lockout was looming … Housewarming party at their new Finnish home in Kirkkonummi.
It was humiliating. If I could just sleep through that season, I would.
Healthy scratch for the first time in his career in a playoff game against the San Jose Sharks on April 24, 2004
Played 19 consecutive games without a goal, a new record. Streak ended on March 29, in a game against the Los Angeles Kings.
Lowest goal total of Teemu’s career, 16. Scored 16+16=32 points in 78 games, and added 0+3=3 points in ten post-season games.
If Teemu’s career had ended in the 2004 knee operation, he would have played 12 seasons in the NHL.
San Jose Sharks
The San Jose Sharks was an early Stanley Cup favorite, and Teemu was bursting with excitement, but the season turned into a major disappointment … The Sharks missed the playoffs … Team Finland lost the World Championship QF 6-5 to Sweden on home ice, having led the game with 5-1 … Teemu scored a hat-trick in the game … Signed for one year with the Colorado Avalanche as a free agent.
That was a disaster of epic proportions, and the biggest nightmare of my career. We had the game in the palm of our hand, and played great hockey until Sweden scored their third goal. We panicked. I still can’t understand that loss.
Led the Sharks in scoring with 28+36=64 points in 82 games, voted player of the year.
All Star Games
Played in his ninth All-Star Game at the Office Depot Center in Florida.
Scored 8 goals, 11 points in 7 games at the Worlds. Led team in scoring, fourth in tournament scoring. Best Forward. Finland 5th.
Teemu scored a hat-trick, leading Finland to a 5-1 lead over Sweden, but Mats Sundin and Peter Forsberg refused to lose and Sweden rallied back to win the back 6-5.
San Jose Sharks
First full season with the San Jose Sharks … Played in his third Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah … Scored 400th regular season goal … Battled with a lack of motivation due to ice time … Miserable news: Saku Koivu had cancer, New York’s World Trade Center hit with a terrorist attack killing almost 3000 people.
We decided that we wouldn’t stay in the US after my career was over. Arranging the Olympics in the US, and playing in the tournament also seemed stupid.
Scored 400th regular season goal in a game against the Ottawa Senators on March 7, 2002.
Scored 29+25 points in 82 games, and added 5+3=8 points in 12 playoff games. Led the Sharks in goal scoring.
All Star Games
Played in his eighth All-Star Game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Captained Team Finland in his third Olympic tournament, and scored 3 goals in games as Finland finished sixth.
Was a minus player for the third time in his career: 1994 (-23) and 2001 (-7).
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and San Jose Sharks
Teemu had scored more goals than any other player since 1993, 372 goals in 625 games, but that didn’t stop Anaheim from trading him to the San Jose Sharks on March 5, 2001 … Voted Finland’s player of the year for the sixth time (1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000).
My personal hell of pain with my left knee began this season.
Played 73 games in the regular season, scoring 72 points, and was left below a point-per-game average for the first time.
Played 61 games with the Ducks, scoring 59 points. At the point of the trade, led Ducks in goals, assists, and points.
Had knee surgery after the trade, came back to score 13 points (7G, 6A) in 12 games.
Fourth career post-season appearance, scored 0+2=2 points in six games, with a broken thumb. Had advanced to second round just once, in 1997.
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
By his eighth NHL season, having won the goal scoring title three times, and been up for the Hart Trophy, Teemu’s focus was increasingly on winning the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, one of the best players in the league had been on teams that didn’t have a chance to win the Cup … Leevi was born … Moves to current California home in Coto de Caza.
I wasn’t motivated by the number of goals I’d score, I only wanted to win the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, the Ducks owner, Disney, didn’t share my views. They just wanted us to sell out the arena and sell replica jerseys.
Scored 85 points (33G, 52A) in 79 games.
All Star Games
Played in his seventh All-Star Game at the Air Canada Center in Toronto.
Top 10 in league scoring
Teemu finished in the Top 10 in scoring for the sixth time in eight years: 1993 (5), 1996 (8), 1997 (2), 1998 (8), 1999 (2), and 2000 (5).
Lady Byng Trophy finalist
A less-known fact: Teemu was up for the Lady Byng Trophy as the NHL’s most gentlemanly player five times between 1996 and 2000 – but never won it.
Leevi, Teemu and Sirpa’s third son, was born
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
First winner of the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s leading goal scorer … Second All-Star Team … World Championship silver with Finland, tournament MVP and First All-Star Team, scoring race runner-up behind Saku Koivu … Finland lost the two-game final to the Czech Republic; Jan Hlavac scored the GWG in overtime … Rally racing career came to an end after a serious accident in test rehearsals in Ikaalinen, Finland.
Is it never Teemu’s turn to win?
Scored 107 points (47G, 60A) in 75 games.
Played in his sixth NHL All-Star Game in Tampa.
Goal scoring king
Accepted the Maurice Richard Trophy from the then-76-year-old Canadien legend himself at the NHL Awards in Toronto. Teemu won the goal scoring race for the third time.
Runner-up in the scoring race for the second time, behind Jaromir Jagr.
The World Championship MVP, scored 11 points (3G, 8A) in 11 games.
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Teemu’s career year at least if you consider that he got his only Hart Trophy nomination in 1998 … Still the only Finnish player to be nominated for the Hart … Was beaten by two Czech players, the Sabres Vezina-winning goalie Dominik Hasek and the Art Ross Trophy winner Jaromir Jagr … Led the league in goal scoring for the second time … Made Second All-Star Team … Won Olympic bronze with Team Finland at the Nagano Winter Olympics that saw the birth of the Jere Lehtinen – Saku Koivu – Teemu Selänne line … Eetu was worn … Drove his third World Championshp rally.
Had Teemu played on a better team or in a bigger market, I’m sure he would have won the Hart Trophy [as the league MVP]
Teemu became the fourth player in NHL history to score a fourth of his team’s goals, when he scored 52 of Anaheim’s 205 goals. The first three were Maurice Richard, Brett Hull, and Peter Bondra.
The leading scorer at the Olympics with 4+6=10 points in five games. Teemu himself considers the QF against Sweden the best game of his career. Finland beat Sweden 2-1, Teemu scored both goals.
Teemu scored 52+34=86 points in 73 regular season games, finishing eighth in the scoring race.
Teemu’s second Olympic tournament. The Nagano Games were the first Olympic tournament open to the NHL players.
Played in his fifth NHL All-Star Game in Vancouver on January 18, 1998: MVP, first European MVP, first European to score a hat-trick in the ASG.
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
His second First All-Star Team … Finished second in both the scoring and the goal scoring race, behind Mario Lemieux and Keith Tkatchuk, respectively … Represented Finland in the World Cup of Hockey, and led the team in scoring … Teammates with childhood idol Jari Kurri in Anaheim … Drove his second World Championship rally race.
It was fantastic to be Jari Kurri’s teammate, and his roommate during road trips.
His fifth NHL season was also his second 50-goal season – 51
Points in the playoffs
Teemu’s second appearance in the playoffs - 7G, 3A in 11 games
Scored 109 points in 78 games in his first full season with the Mighty Ducks, runner-up in both scoring and goal scoring races.
Scored the first goal in Anaheim’s club history on April 16, 1996, in a game against the Phoenix Coyotes (formerly the Jets).
Winnipeg Jets and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Got traded to Anaheim in mid-season … Found his hockey soulmate in Paul Kariya … Represented Finland in his fourth major tournament at the Worlds in Austria as Finland finished fifth … Son, Eemil, was born … Married Sirpa Vuorinen on July 19, 1996.
I walked straight back to Teppo Numminen and Tie Domi and told them I had been traded. I’ll never forget the looks on their faces.
Teemu scored 108 points in 79 games with Winnipeg and Anaheim.
Wore number 88 at the Worlds, as Janne Ojanen had number 8.
Finished in 8th place in scoring race.
February 7, 1996 was a traumatic day for Teemu as he got traded to Anaheim.
Led Team Finland in scoring at the Worlds, with 8 points in six games.
Teemu started the season in a Jokerit jersey due to an NHL lockout … finished season with the Jets … wanted to play in the World Championships, but head coach Curt Lindström chose not to pick him and Finland won its first World Championship gold … Participated in the Rally Finland race for the first time.
I played in Winnipeg but grew a Jokerit playoff beard.
Gretzky All Stars
Teemu played for Jokerit in an exhibition game against Wayne Gretzky’s “Ninety-Nine All Stars” on December 3, 1994.
Finnish league games
Teemu’s 20 games for Jokerit brought him 19 points, European Cup win, and a Finnish league silver.
Teemu scored 48 points in 45 NHL games and finished 19th in the scoring race.
Switched to number 8 in the NHL.
Teemu kicked his second NHL season off with a hat trick in a game against Washington … suffered a season-ending injury on January 26 when he tore his Achilles tendon in a game against Anaheim … Joined a Finnish TV broadcast team during the World Championships in Milan, Italy.
Reporters were asking me if I could score 200 goals in my second season.
Scored his 100th NHL goal in his 130th game against Buffalo when he beat Dominik Hasek on January 12, 1994. Only Mike Bossy had scored 100 goals faster, in 129 games.
Played 51 games, and scored 25+29=54 points.
Played in his second NHL All-Star Game, in Madison Square Garden in New York.
Teemu scored 8+12=20 points in 16 first games of the season– which was considered a disappointment.
Worst plus/minus rating of his career.
Teemu led the NHL in scoring in his rookie season and broke the rookie goal and points records … won the Calder Trophy as the rookie of the year … voted into the First All-Star Team … Goal celebration after his record-breaking 54th goal of the season is an iconic moment.
When the snowball started rolling, there was no stopping it.
The new rookie points record. Teemu broke the old one by 23 points.
New NHL rookie goal record. Broke Mike Bossy’s old record by 23 goals.
Teemu finished fifth in the NHL scoring race with 76+56=132 points.
Wore number 13 in his first season, as veteran defenseman Randy Carlyle had number 8.
Points in the playoffs
Scored 4+2=6 points in the six post-season games.
Won Finnish championship … Finland third in Canada Cup … Played in his first Olympics in Albertville, France … SM-liiga leading goal scorer, First All-Star team, Best Forward … Led league in play off scoring and goal scoring … Declined invitation to the World Championships due to fatigue.
We dug out of a deep hole, from the brink of bankruptcy, and won the league. A league title must be earned through hard work and a process.
Teemu finished fourth in league scoring with 39+23=62 points in 44 games, and added 10+7=17 points in ten playoff games.
Scored 11 points in eight games in his first Olympic tournament. Most goals in the tournament, fourth in tournament scoring. Led Team Finland in scoring.
In his eight years with Jokerit - beginning with under-14 team in 1984-95 - Teemu’s teams won the major junior Finnish title in 1988, earned promotion to SM-liiga in 1989, and won the Finnish championship in 1992.
Teemu scored five goals, six points in the last two games of the final against JyP, Jyväskylä.
Winning the Finnish championship was a great finish to a great season, and it was time for the NHL.
First full season in SM-liiga, made an international breakthrough in the World Championships … SM-liiga First All-Star team and Best Forward … Winner of Golden Helmet as SM-liiga MVP voted by the players … Played in his first World Championship on home ice as host team Finland finished fifth … Finished second in Team Finland scoring, behind childhood idol Jari Kurri … Surprised the world by signing for another year with Jokerit.
Team Finland was way too good a team to not play for the medals at the Worlds.
Teemu finished second in SM-liiga goal scoring. He scored 33 goals in 42 games, two behind Arto Javanainen of Ässät, Pori. Teemu’s 58 points were seventh most in the league.
Teemu scored 6+5=11 points in ten games his first World Championship.
Switched to his beloved number 8
Team Finland goal
Scored his first goal for Team Finland in his seventh game, when Finland beat Czechoslovakia 2-0 in Deutschland Cup in Stuttgart on November 10, 1990.
First season in top Finnish league … scored in his first game, as did other members Jan Långbacka and Keijo Säilynoja of his line … Broke his leg in his 11th game of the season, against JYP Jyväskylä … Missed World Juniors on home ice … Followed the Stanley Cup Playoffs in Canada as the Jets’ guest.
My life came to a sudden stop. I remember exactly when it happened, 56 seconds into the OT. I missed hockey so much, and learned to appreciate the times I could play injury-free. The injury made me reprioritize my life.
Teemu scored 12 points (4G, 8A) in 11 games.
Broke both the tibia and the fibula in his left leg on October 19, 1989, in a game against JyP HT.
Games in the U20 team
The World Juniors were played in Finland. Teemu played in five exhibition games in August, and scored 2+3=5 points.
Scored his first SM-liiga goal in his first game on September 17, 1989. Jokerit - Ilves, 4-4, at the Helsinki arena.
Became the Winnipeg Jets first-round draft choice, 10th overall in 1988, as the first Finn to be drafted in the first round … Attended the Jets training camp in September … His first season as a pro, with Jokerit in the second-tier league in Finland … completed military service in the army’s Sports Regiment … Played first games with Team Finland … World Juniors in Alaska … Leading scorer of relegation round as Jokerit got promoted to SM-liiga … last player to get cut from Finland’s World Championship team.
We earned promotion to Finnish top league, and Jokerit’s Cinderella story was under way.
Wore number 11 even during first SM-liiga season because Markku Tiinus, a veteran forward, wore number 8.
Teemu scored ten points (5G, 5A) in seven games at the World Juniors, Finland finished sixth.
Finished seventh in the second-tier league scoring race with 36+33=69 points in 35 games.
Played with six teams during the season: Jokerit, Jokerit major junior team, Army team, World Juniors team, Team Finland, and Team Finland B.
First game with Team Finland
Played his first game with Team Finland on November 11, 1988 at Nissan Cup in Berne, Switzerland. Switzerland beat Finland 4-3 in a shootout.