The “Did You Know?” series ties in the news of the day with some little-known hockey factoids and/or trivia. It’ll be fun. Trust me.
Last night against San Jose, Anaheim Ducks F Teemu Selanne scored a power play goal in the first period. It was his 237th career PP marker, tying him with Brendan Shanahan for fourth all-time (the Finnish Flash is now 37 back of Dave Andreychuk, the NHL’s career leader.)
I don’t have to tell you that Selanne is an amazing talent. You already know that. If you don’t, chances are you’ve stumbled onto PHT accidentally. Perhaps I can redirect you to another one of NBCSports.com fine blogs. Have you read Inside the Irish yet? It’s quite good.
Anyway, what I want to highlight is how Selanne constantly gives Father Time the finger. Two fingers, in fact. Just waving ’em like he’s on the cover of an Eminem album.
Selanne turned 41 this past summer, just a few months after finishing the 2010-11 season with 80 points in 73 games. He was the NHL’s only top-10 scorer drafted in the 80s, mostly because the NHL currently has only two players drafted in the 80s — Selanne (10th overall, 1988) and Nicklas Lidstrom (53rd overall, 1989). Not coincidentally, they are the league’s two oldest players.
To understand how amazing Selanne’s longevity is, consider the following factoids about the 1988 NHL Entry Draft:
— The overall pick, Mike Modano, retired this past summer. The last time he scored 80-plus points was in 2003. The second overall pick, Trevor Liden, retired in 2008. The last time he scored 80-plus points was in 1996.
— Five fellow draftees are currently working in NHL front offices or behind benches: Martin Gelinas (Nashville, player development), Rod Brind’Amour (Carolina, asst. coach), Kevin Cheveldayoff (Winnipeg, GM), Tim Taylor (St. Louis, player development) and Peter DeBoer (New Jersey, coach).
— Four fellow draftees are in the broadcasting game: Jeremy Roenick, Rob Ray, Keith Jones and Bret Hedican.
— Len Barrie, drafted 124th overall, used to own the Tampa Bay Lighting.
— Here are some things from the 1988 draft that don’t exist anymore: The Minnesota North Stars, the Quebec Nordiques, the Hartford Whalers, rounds eight through 12 and HC Dynamo Moscow (where ’88 draftees Sergei Svetlov and Alex Semak came from).
So yeah, Teemu Selanne has been doing it for a long time, and doing it well. And since we’re on the video tip today, here’s a quick look back on his famous 76-goal rookie campaign: