Tag: Teemu Selanne

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 04: Olli Maatta #3 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates during warm ups prior to a game against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on March 4, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Selanne holds Penguins rookie Maatta in high regard


Teemu Selanne has been in the NHL longer than Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta has been alive, but as the 43-year-old forward’s career nears its end, he can’t help but be impressed by how Maatta’s is beginning.

Selanne got to know Maatta during the 2014 Winter Olympics when the two played key roles in leading Finland to the bronze medal.

“Even at the Olympics, when he played best against best, he was so calm,” Selanne told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He didn’t look like he was a first-year player. It was fun to follow him.

“And also off the ice — how much work he does every day for preparation. It’s truly professional stuff.”

Selanne certainly isn’t the first person to see something special in Maatta. During the Olympics, Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Sami Salo said that he can’t see the ceiling for Maatta.

Even as a rookie, the Penguins are relying heavily on Maatta right now as they try to get by without blueliners Kris Letang and Paul Martin. The 19-year-old has logged at least 20 minutes in each of Pittsburgh’s last seven games.

Selanne: Olympics were Granlund’s ‘business card’ to show the world


Of all the players that improved their stock at the Olympics, few had a bigger spike than Mikael Granlund.

The Minnesota sophomore was nothing short of fantastic for bronze medal-winning Finland, finishing with seven points in six games while averaging over 18 minutes a night, earning him a spot on the tournament all-star team.

Granlund’s teammate, tourney MVP Teemu Selanne, showered the youngster with praise.

“He’s going to have a great career ahead,” Selanne said, per the Pioneer Press. “This is Granlund’s business card for the world to show that he is hungry and can’t wait to get out there.”

At the tender age of 21, Granlund was put in an unenviable position heading into the Olympics, left to shoulder Finland’s No. 1 center gig after the team lost Mikko Koivu and Valtteri Filppula to injury. Granlund didn’t just accept the gig — he thrived, leading the Finnish team in scoring while doing a fantastic job in the faceoff circle (he won 61.5 percent of his draws in the bronze medal win over the U.S.)

Granlund, though, didn’t see the performance as a huge surprise.

“I’ve been feeling good and playing with confidence for awhile (even) before the tournament,” he explained. “I just need to keep going and get better.”

The young Finn promises to be a key figure for the Wild post-Olympic break. Minnesota will re-enter play holding the first of two wild card spots in the Western Conference, but faces a killer stretch starting mid-March — Minnesota plays eight of 10 on the road with dates in Boston, Long Island, New Jersey, Detroit, St. Louis, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Teemu Selanne is the 2014 Winter Olympics MVP

Finland forward Teemu Selanne celebrates with teammates after receiving their bronze medals after defeating the USA 5-0 in the men's bronze medal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Teemu Selanne has been one of the most dominant hockey players to ever participate in the Winter Olympics and at the age of 43, he added one final accomplishment to the list.

After leading a battered Finnish squad to a bronze medal, Selanne has been named the most valuable player for the 2014 Winter Games, per the IIHF.

The Finnish Flash scored 24 goals and 43 points in 37 career Olympic contests and while 2014 wasn’t his most prolific tournament offensively, he certainly made his mark with four goals and six points in six games, including two markers in the bronze medal contest against the United States. Knowing this would be his last Olympics, Selanne also wore the ‘C’ for the first time.

“Usually I’m [alternate] captain and a lot of times if they have asked if I want to be captain, I don’t really need a letter to be a leader,” Selanne explained to NHL.com before the tournament started. “A lot of times it’s better if somebody else going to be [captain]. But now it’s my last one, this time I felt it’s time to be captain and I’m very honored.”

Selanne led a combination of veterans like Sami Salo and Kimmo Timonen and promising youngsters like Olli Maatta and Mikael Granlund. He also helped his nation whether quite a bit of adversity as they lost Mikko Koivu and Valtteri Filppula before the Olympics started and then Aleksander Barkov after just two games.

He will walk away with four Olympic medals and the record of being the oldest medal winner in the history of men’s hockey.

A fitting end to a tremendous career on the international stage.

Karlsson, Kessel highlight Olympic All-Star team


While they didn’t win the ultimate prize, Erik Karlsson and Phil Kessel are leaving Sochi with some major awards.

Karlsson was named the tournament’s top defender on Sunday, Kessel the top forward, and both were selected to the Sochi All-Star team, per IIHF.com. The pair finished tied for the tournament scoring lead, with eight points, and were the only two to capture individual awards and All-Star team spots. Kessel also finished tied with Michael Grabner for the goalscoring title (five goals each).

The individual positional awards went like this:

Individual Awards as selected by the tournament directorate
Best Goalkeeper: Carey Price, Canada
Best Defenceman: Karlsson, Sweden
Best Forward: Kessel, USA

All-Star Team as selected by the media
Goalkeeper: Henrik Lundqvist, Sweden
Defenceman: Karlsson, Sweden
Defenceman: Drew Doughty, Canada
Forward: Teemu Selanne, Finland
Forward: Kessel, USA
Forward: Mikael Granlund, Finland

Tournament MVP went to Finland’s Teemu Selanne.

Finland selects Selanne as closing ceremonies flag bearer

Teemu Selanne of Finland (8) takes a victory lap around the ice with his medal after he men's bronze medal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. Finland defeated the United States 5-0. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Teemu Selanne has played in his last Olympic game, but after leading the Finns to a bronze medal as the team captain and leading goal scorer, Finland has selected him for one final task.

The nation has named him as its flag bearer for the closing ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Games, per the IIHF. That’s a big honor, but one he might not be able to partake in.

The problem is that the NHL flights will depart before Selanne would have that opportunity, according to the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle.

That being said, the Boston Bruins allowed defenseman Zdeno Chara to miss two games so that he could be Slovakia’s flag bearer for the opening ceremonies, so it wouldn’t be unprecedented if Anaheim decided to do the same for Selanne. It’s also worth noting that while the NHL schedule resumes on Tuesday, the Ducks won’t play until Friday.


‘What a great ending’: Selanne caps off Olympic career in style