In the same year that his former partner-in-crime Paul Kariya netted his 400th career goal, “The Finnish Flash” Teemu Selanne hit the 600 career goal milestone during the Ducks’ 5-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche Sunday night. The San Francisco Examiner painted the picture.
Selanne connected 34 seconds into the second period on his fifth shot of the game, scoring into a wide-open net during a power play with goalie Craig Anderson out of position after a furious scramble in front of the crease.
Selanne is now the 18th player in NHL history to hit that mark, but apparently the Finnish winger has at least a few other milestones ahead of him. The Los Angeles Times points out that Selanne can pass his boyhood idol Jari Kurri to become Finland’s all-time NHL goal scoring champion. I’m not sure if the still-fairly-potent Finn will come back next season to chase other records, but he could also eclipse Jaromir Jagr’s all-time goal scoring record for European players (649) if he had a great season or two.
Either way, Selanne is one of the greatest Finnish players ever and seems like a shoo-in to make the Hockey Hall of Fame. After the jump, I’ll provide a timeline of Selanne’s career.
* – Interesting factoid to start things off: Selanne originally wanted to wear No. 8 but his future coach Randy Carlyle already had that number. Then again, that bit of trivia was taken from Wikipedia so administer your grain of salt.
* – That didn’t impede Selanne’s progress at all, however, as he famously scored an incredible 76 goals and 132 points in his rookie season. Hitting that mark is particularly special since he and Alex Mogilny are the last two players to score at least 70 goals in one season.
* – Selanne had two fantastic seasons back with Anaheim, scoring 90 and 94 points. Of course, in 2006-07 he also was an important part of the Ducks’ dominant Stanley Cup victory.
It’s been a career of dramatic highs and lows for “The Finnish Flash” but I think he should be remembered as a graceful, swift skater with one of the deadliest releases the league has ever seen. I wouldn’t mind seeing one more year out of Teemu, either. Feel free to share some of your favorite memories of the great sniper.