Teemu Selanne has signed on to play at least one more year for the Anaheim Ducks. He agreed to a one year contract worth $4.5 million. This is great news not just for Ducks fans, but for all hockey fans.
Selanne is one of the greatest players of his generation, and one of the best goal scorers of all-time. I still remember when in 1992-93, he was a rookie who took the NHL by storm. He scored 76 goals and 132 points that year easily winning the Calder Trophy and shattering the existing records for rookie goals and rookie points in a season. When Selanne scored his 54th goal that season, breaking the rookie record of 53 that was previously held by Mike Bossy, he threw his glove into the air and shot it down machine gun style. The celebration was one of the most memorable in NHL history. I’ve included a youtube video of it below.
Selanne has followed that up with an outstanding career, and is a first ballot hall of famer. He has 4 seasons of over 100 points, and 3 seasons of over 50 goals, while playing the prime years of his career in the dead puck era. He is 12th all-time with 663 career goals, and 19th all time with 1406 career points. Selanne has already passed Jari Kurri’s career points and goals totals and is the highest scoring Finnish born player in NHL history.
There are two big targets that should be in Selanne’s sights as he enters the 2012-13 season. Teemu is just 5 goals behind Luc Robitaille for 10th all time in goal scoring (and 2 behind the also returning Jaromir Jagr). A strong season could also get Selanne into the top 15 all time in points, as he is just 19 points behind Bryan Trottier who holds that spot (with Dale Hawerchuk, Doug Gilmour, and Adam Oates bunched together at 18, 17, and 16th respectively).
Selanne seems to be aging like a Fine Wine, and his production is not slowing down. Last season Selanne scored 66 points, the 2nd most ever by a 41 year old player. Only Gordie Howe ever scored more points at the same age.
Teemu Selanne returns to the Ducks, a team he has played for in 13 seasons of his 20 year NHL career. He was a key leader of the 2007 Ducks squad that won the Stanley Cup, and is Anaheim’s most recognizable and marketable star. It is a big boost to the Ducks both on and off the ice to get Selanne back. It is expected that Selanne will once again anchor the Ducks second line, and play with good friend and countryman Saku Koivu.
We all know that Selanne won’t play forever, but we as hockey fans should be grateful we get to watch Selanne for one more year. He’s a special player, and one that I’m sure I’ll be telling my grandchildren about one day.
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