This summer, NBC Sports’ social media team is conducting the #NHLGreatest initiative, designed for fans to choose the best player in each franchise’s history. Balloting was conducted through three platforms — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — with thousands of votes being cast. The results of this initiative will be released throughout the month of August, in conjunction with PHT’s Team of the Day series.
1. Teemu Selanne – 1,597 Votes
2. Paul Kariya – 446 Votes
3. Other – 253 Votes
This was one of the most overwhelming majorities we’ve seen during the #NHLGreatest campaign, and one of the least surprising.
I mean, c’mon. It’s Teemu.
Had he not wrapped this up prior to his final NHL campaign, this year’s swan song/Jeter-esque retirement tour cemented it. Almost everywhere he went, Selanne was showered with praise and applause and, in an incredibly special moment for Ducks fans, Selanne and another ex-Anaheim standout — J.S. Giguere — took a final lap following the last game of the regular season, to a thunderous ovation:
Last week, the Ducks announced that Selanne’s No. 8 would be raised to the Honda Center rafters this season — the first number Anaheim will ever retire.
“Teemu is our franchise icon and deserves to be the first player in club history to have his jersey retired,” Ducks owner Henry Samueli said in a statement. “His dedication to this franchise and our community is unmatched.”
Upon retiring after a playoff loss to Los Angeles, Selanne left the Ducks organization as the franchise leader in almost every single significant offensive category, appearing in 966 games over the course of 15 seasons. He was also an instrumental figure in the club’s first and only Stanley Cup championship in 2007, scoring 15 points in 21 games — which included the crucial OT winner in Game 5 of the Western Conference final against Detroit.
So yeah. No surprise that Teemu’s been voted the greatest Duck ever.