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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    Daly: NHL could skip 2018 Olympics and return in 2022

    TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 24: Sidney Crosby #87 celebrates with Marc-Edouard Vlasic #44, John Tavares #20, Shea Weber #6 of Team Canada after his first period goal against Team Russia during the World Cup of Hockey game at the semifinal game during the World Cup of Hockey tournament at the Air Canada Centre on September 24, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)
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    The NHL’s participation in the 2018 Olympics is in Pyeongchang, South Korea is still undetermined, and on Tuesday deputy commissioner Bill Daly didn’t sound overly optimistic about the chances of their players taking part.

    At a press conference in Toronto on Tuesday before the first game of the World Cup Final, Daly said that there has been no progress on the NHL’s participation in the games and that he is currently more down on the possibility than he was two years ago.

    “I’m not going to handicap it, but what I’d say is I think time is very short to make a decision and I’m not sure there’s been a lot of progress made in the past six months,” Daly said, via the Canadian Press. “And I’m not sure there’s any prospect of progress being made.”

    He also added, via Sportsnet’s, Chris Johnson that it is possible that the NHL could skip the 2018 games and then return for the 2022 games in Beijing.

    NHL players have participated in the Winter Olympics since 1998, and in recent years there’s almost always been a debate leading up to the games as to whether or not the NHL will be able to come to an agreement with the IOC and IIHF. Game times, shutting the NHL season down for more than two weeks and the insurance that goes with covering the players It has, to this point, always worked out.

    Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin has repeatedly said that he will play for Russia in 2018 whether the NHL agrees to send its players or not.

    On Tuesday, Daly was asked about Ovechkin’s desire to play and said that at this point it will be something that the team has to handle at its own discretion.

    Gretzky returns to NHL fold as official ambassador of centennial celebration

    EDMONTON, AB - APRIL 6:  Former Edmonton Oilers forward Wayne Gretzky greets fans during the closing ceremonies at Rexall Place following the game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Vancouver Canucks on April 6, 2016 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The game was the final game the Oilers played at Rexall Place before moving to Rogers Place next season. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
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    The National Hockey League was founded on November 26, 1917. Almost ninety-nine years later, the commissioner of the league, Gary Bettman, was in Toronto to announce that Wayne Gretzky, arguably its greatest player ever, would be the official ambassador of its centennial celebration.

    For Gretzky, whose relationship with the NHL was tested during the Phoenix Coyotes’ bankruptcy proceedings in 2009, it marks a return to representing the league in an official capacity. (In 2013, he was reportedly paid around $8 million in a settlement.)

    “It’s a tremendous honor,” Gretzky said in a statement. “I’ve said this a million times that everything I have in my life is because of hockey and because of the National Hockey League. I happen to think it’s the greatest game in the world. It was kind to me my whole life. The game just gets better every year, so for me to be involved in just trying to help promote and sell our sport even more it’s a great thrill for me and an honor to be part of it.”

    Watch the following video to see what the NHL has in store for 2017, starting on Jan. 1 with the Centennial Classic at BMO Field between the Maple Leafs and Red Wings:

     

    Report: Panarin wants six-year deal from ‘Hawks, at least $6M per season

    LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 22:  Artemi Panarin of the Chicago Blackhawks poses after winning the Calder Trophy named for the top rookie at the 2016 NHL Awards at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on June 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    Artemi Panarin is looking to cash in on his Calder-winning campaign.

    Chicago’s prized Russian sniper and the reigning rookie of the year, Panarin is reportedly seeking a six-year contract extension “worth more than $6 million per season,” per the Chicago Tribune.

    As the Tribune points out, that figure could be problematic. Nobody’s arguing that Panarin isn’t worth the money — he’s 24, and coming off a 30-goal, 77-point campaign — but people are wondering how the ‘Hawks can afford him. Eight players on the active roster are pulling in at least $4 million per season, which includes Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, they of the $10.5M cap hits.

    That said, it sure sounds like Panarin will get done.

    Reports last week said his agent and ‘Hawks GM Stan Bowman were well into extension talks, and Bowman seemed confident a deal would be inked.

    “I respect Tom [Lynn, Panarin’s agent], he’s a very knowledgeable guy and I know Artemi put a lot of faith in him,” Bowman said. “Tom and I will work to get something done.”

    Panarin’s heading into the last of a two-year, $6.775 million deal with a $3.387 AAV — a deal that gained plenty of notoriety as the season progressed. Since it was so performance-laden, Panarin cashed in a couple of times, including a $1.725 million bonus for finishing among the top-10 scorers in the NHL.

    That led to Bowman making some tough financial decisions this offseason, including the deal that sent Bryan Bickell — more specifically, Bryan Bickell’s contract — and Teuvo Teravainen to Carolina in exchange for draft picks.

    So, this latest situation isn’t anything new for the ‘Hawks GM. He’s been down the financial squeeze road before, and usually found a way to keep his core players in the mix.

    If Panarin is considered a core guy — and at this point, it sure sounds like he is — then finding common ground on an extension shouldn’t be too difficult.

    Gudbranson-Hutton pairing will be key for Canucks

    Vancouver Canucks' defenseman Erik Gudbranson, who was acquired from the Florida Panthers in the off-season, answers questions during a news conference ahead of the NHL hockey team's training camp in Vancouver, British Columbia, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
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    There’s a long list of things that have to go right for the Vancouver Canucks if their playoff hopes are to be realized.

    One of the biggest is for new addition Erik Gudbranson to form a cohesive second pairing with sophomore Ben Hutton. If that happens, and if Alex Edler and Chris Tanev can stay healthy, the Canucks should have a reliable top-four defense, and that’s something they rarely, if ever, had last season.

    Gudbranson, a big stay-at-home type, and Hutton, a puck-mover, have been skating together at training camp. The Canucks believe the pairing has great potential, with each defenseman’s strengths complementing the other’s.

    “I want to get his feet moving and hit him in stride and get him up the ice with the puck as soon as possible,” Gudbranson said, per The Province. “I think we’re going to be a good partnership. We’re both on the same page. We’re both excited to play with each other and grow as a unit.”

    Vancouver’s third pairing remains to be seen. Luca Sbisa with Philip Larsen is the most likely at this point, though Nikita Tryamkin and Andrey Pedan on the left side, and Alex Biega and Troy Stecher on the right, could make things interesting. Jordan Subban is another wild card. Olli Juolevi too, though he’s a long shot and will likely end up back in junior.

    The Canucks were decimated by injuries to their best defensemen last season. Edler only played 52 games, Dan Hamhuis 58, and Tanev 69. Other teams with more depth could survive that, but Vancouver floundered.

    That’s why health is another big thing that has to go right for the Canucks. Another injury-filled season and it’s hard to picture them staying in the playoff race.

    Vancouver opens its preseason schedule tonight in San Jose.