Looking back at Selanne's 600 goal career

teemu.jpgIn 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.

selanne600.jpg* – 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.

* – The next few years were a little rocky, with injuries and the lockout curtailing his production. Selanne eventually would be traded to the new Mickey Mouse organization in Anaheim.

* – Selanne had a great run in what would be his first stay with the Ducks, even if the team didn’t have much beyond him and Kariya at the time. Among his honors were an All-Star Game MVP and a Rocket Richard trophy.

* – Eventually the Finn was traded to the San Jose Sharks in 2001. Let’s just say that things did not go very well with the Bay area team.

* – Way back in 2003, Selanne agreed to join forces once again with Kariya … this time with the mighty Colorado Avalanche! I once compared this situation to Karl Malone and Gary Payton joining Kobe Bryant and Shaq for the Lakers. Oddly enough, the Kariya-Selanne experiment was an even bigger letdown than Payton-Malone.

* – After a lockout year that included knee surgery, it looked like Selanne was done. Brian Burke didn’t think so and signed the Finn to very reasonable contract to return to Anaheim. He had such a great rebound season that he won the Bill Masteron trophy in 2005-06.

* – 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.

* – The last two years haven’t been kind to the winger injury-wise, but he’s still been pretty solid all things considered (90 points in his last 110 games isn’t too shabby).

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.

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    Star struck: Sens chase Niemi after three goals on nine shots (Update: And now he’s back)

    Milan Michalek, Antti Niemi
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    Bet Antti Niemi misses playing Buffalo.

    Niemi, who stopped 46 of 47 shots in back-to-back wins over the Sabres last week, was hooked during Tuesday’s game against the Senators after allowing three goals on nine shots.

    In Niemi’s defense, tonight’s goals weren’t exactly his fault.

    John Klingberg coughed up the puck badly on Bobby Ryan‘s opening tally…

    And on Ottawa’s second goal, Jyrki Jokipakka lost a board battle moments before Milan Michalek snapped one home:

    The Sens’ third marker also came on a turnover.

    Update: Well, this is quite the night for Dallas netminders. Kari Lehtonen replaced Niemi, allowed a goal, then got hurt in this collision with Klingberg, which forced him from the game and Niemi back into action.

    Foley aware of Seattle reports, but says Vegas is ‘proceeding as if we will play in 2017’

    Gary Bettman, Bill Foley
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    Bill Foley, the man behind Las Vegas’ prospective NHL expansion team, says he knows about reports claiming the league is keeping an eye on a proposed Seattle arena.

    He also says he isn’t going to worry about things out of his control.

    “I’m aware of what’s going on (in Seattle) but in my communication with the league, our situation isn’t dependent on third parties,” Foley said Tuesday, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We believe we’re in good shape and we’re proceeding as if we will play in 2017.”

    Over the weekend, a Seattle Times piece suggested the NHL had yet to award Vegas or Quebec City an expansion franchise because the league is “avoiding any expansion decision until after an upcoming Seattle City Council vote likely to decide the fate of Chris Han­sen’s proposed Sodo District arena.”

    The piece also suggested Seattle could be granted an expansion club for the 2018-19 campaign.


    That vote, on granting Hansen part of Occidental Avenue South for his arena, is expected by January. No one knows how it will go, only that the lead-up should be politically charged and fiercely contested.

    But passing it — future legal appeals notwithstanding — paves the way for Hansen to obtain his Master Use Permit and have his arena “shovel ready” should he choose to build.

    And that means, once a vote passes, it’s entirely possible the NHL could conditionally award Seattle an expansion team.

    To his credit, Foley remains solely focused on his Vegas bid — not what potential rival bids could bring to the table. And while he confirmed he has yet to be invited to the Dec. 7 NHL Board of Governor’s meeting in Pebble Beach, he re-iterated his only objective is to strengthen Sin City’s case for a hockey team.

    “I’m focused on trying to find a place to build our practice facility,” he said. “I’m focused on the new arena and our fans who’ve put down deposits on season tickets.”

    Report: Sabres’ Lehner (ankle) suffered minor setback in recovery

    Robin Lehner
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    Sabres fans hoping Robin Lehner would return early from his high ankle sprain received some tough news on Tuesday — per ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, Lehner suffered a “little setback” in his recovery.

    Lehner was hurt in Buffalo’s opening game of the year and, originally, slated to miss 6-10 weeks. Six weeks have now passed, but optimism he’d be able to return in the earlier part of the timeframe has been dashed — LeBrun says Lehner’s projected return is now for mid-to-late December.

    (So, closer to the 10-week estimate.)

    While it’s not great news for the Sabres, it’s a positive development for the club’s other Swedish netminder, Linus Ullmark.

    Recalled from AHL Rochester shortly after Lehner got hurt, Ullmark is on a really nice run in November — just check his last five games played:


    The last Lehner update from the Sabres came in early November, when head coach Dan Bylsma told the News his goalie was “doing really well,” but “not close yet to getting back on the ice.”

    Welcome Ryan Johansen to the trade rumor mill

    Ryan Johansen

    Well, this kind of seemed inevitable — there are now trade rumblings involving Columbus center Ryan Johansen.

    This evening, TSN’s Darren Dreger revealed that teams have been calling Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen about the talented pivot, adding that one team classified Johansen as being “softly” in play.

    More (transcribed from video):

    “That doesn’t mean [Kekalainen] is calling teams, saying ‘what are you going to give me?’ However, when teams call, he’s not dismissing the interest. He is saying ‘well, what’s your offer?’

    “What that tells you is there’s at least some interest in considering the trade of Ryan Johansen and, as we saw on the weekend, his minutes dropped, he was demoted to the fourth line — so if the right deal comes along, they’ll consider it.”

    The incident Dreger referred to occurred during Sunday’s 5-3 loss to San Jose, in which head coach John Tortorealla limited Johansen to just 13:52 TOI — his lowest total of the season.

    It’s the latest incident from what’s already been a tumultuous year; not long after getting hired, Tortorella told the reigning All-Star MVP he was out of shape.

    Johnansen was then away from the team for a pair of games dealing with an undisclosed illness. During that absence, the Dispatch reported Johansen had been hospitalized this summer because of an accelerated heart rate.

    All this, of course, came one year after an ugly contract dispute at the start of last season, during which the Jackets and Johansen’s representation engaged in a public spat before agreeing to a three-year, $12M deal.