You knew it wouldn’t take long, but the Anaheim Ducks are going to retire Teemu Selanne’s number.
The Ducks announced they’ll be lifting his No. 8 into the rafters on January 11, 2015 when they host the Winnipeg Jets. In 15 seasons with the Ducks, the “Finnish Flash” piled up 457 of his 684 career goals and had 988 points with Anaheim alone. He is, without a doubt, the franchise’s greatest player and the face of the Ducks franchise. He was a member of the 2007 Ducks team that won the Stanley Cup.
While retiring his number was never in doubt, there’s the possibility Selanne will have a something else on his schedule that night. Jokerit of the KHL, who has been wooing Selanne to play one more year in Finland, has a game against CSKA Moscow on January 11.
It’d be a bit of a downer to have a number retirement ceremony without the guest of honor, no? Selanne hasn’t made a decision whether he’ll play in Finland next season, but for the time being it looks like he’ll be in Southern California come January.
2012 Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson is close to finding lockout work.
According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, the Swedish-born defenseman is close to landing a deal with Jokerit of the SM-liiga. Karlsson would be bringing his high-scoring game to a team that already has Detroit Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula and a host of other former NHL players including Jarkko Ruutu and Wings prospect Teemu Pulkkinen.
As we’ve heard already today, other Senators are busy working out on their own in Ottawa and Sergei Gonchar is playing for Magnitogorsk (alongside Evgeni Malkin) in the KHL.
This season is supposed to be, perhaps, Teemu Selanne’s last ride through the NHL. He’s about to start his 20th season in the league, so it’s about that time, but with a possible lockout causing problems Selanne is keeping his home country in mind as a possible work stoppage solution.
Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register hears it from the Finnish Flash about his thoughts on the lockout and possibly playing for Jokerit in the Finnish league this season.
“One of my best buddies [Jarmo Kekalainen] is the GM for them,” Selanne said. ”Let’s see. I say that I want to think about it. Let’s see how things go and we’ll see.
“Obviously I know there’s a spot for me if I want to go. Like I said, I’m still optimistic but it doesn’t look good.”
When you think of what a lockout would cost fans of the NHL, missing out on perhaps the final season for a future Hall of Famer like Selanne (as well as Jaromir Jagr) while burning another year seeing guys like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Pavel Datsyuk it’s crazy to think how a work stoppage benefits anyone in the end.