Teemu Selanne’s 22nd goal of 2011-12 did more than just salvage a point for the Anaheim Ducks tonight (the Colorado Avalanche just won 3-2 in thanks to Gabriel Landeskog‘s OT tally). It also gave him the 1,399th point of his historic career, placing him alone at 19th place in front of his fellow countryman and idol Jari Kurri.
Kurri released the following statement (via the Ducks PR team):
“I couldn’t be more proud that Teemu is the all-time top NHL scorer from Finland,” Kurri said. “Congratulations to a great player, a great friend and an even better person.”
Fans of Finns can have some fun debates, especially if you’re not the type that looks at mere totals alone. Let me fuel the fire quickly with a few bullet points:
- Kurri earned his 1,398 points in 1,251 games while Selanne needed 1,328 for 1,399.
- On the other hand, Kurri was boosted by a) playing his prime years in the high-flying 1980’s and b) spending most of those seasons with some schlub name Wayne Gretzky. (Selanne’s had some great teammates, perhaps most notably prime-era Paul Kariya, but there’s only one Wayne Gretzky.)
- Kurri has four Stanley Cups to his name; Selanne has one.
- Kurri was named to eight All-Star games and was probably noted for being more versatile while Selanne has made an impressive 10 All-Star teams.
Tough argument, but a fun one, eh?
Here’s the latest milestone moment:This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
Anyway, with 12 games left in Anaheim’s season, Selanne is within reasonable distance of the following greats (note: I took some license with this in hopes of digitally enticing Selanne to come back for another season*).
15. Bryan Trottier (1,425)
16. Adam Oates (1,420)
17. Doug Gilmour (1,414)
18. Dale Hawerchuk (1,409)
19. Selanne (1,399)
20. Kurri (1,398)
21. Luc Robitaille (1,394)
22. Brett Hull (1,391)
Selanne also needs nine goals to tie Lucky Luc with 668 goals while he would need another season to go further than that. Jaromir Jagr will also go toe-to-toe with him in the all-time goal scoring ranks as he currently has five more (664).
The Ducks’ loss to the Avalanche only made their paper-thin playoffs flimsier, but you can’t blame Selanne – you can only hope that he indulges us with one more year.
Oh, and if tonight wasn’t full of enough Finnish goodness, Selanne’s pal and countryman Saku Koivu reached the 1,000 games played mark. Not bad for a guy who fought off cancer, eh?
* Let me make another plea: Please please please please?
Is that not good enough? Stan Mikita would be in reach at 14th place with 1,467 points. Just saying …