Teemu Selanne’s age-defying talent inspired #TeemuForever, but the 2013-14 season was ultimately the last NHL campaign for “The Finnish Flash.”
It wasn’t a picture-perfect ending, as Selanne bitterly sat out some Anaheim Ducks playoff games and finally stopped playing as if he was 10 years younger.
Still, it’s quite likely the passage of time will soften some of those memories, and we’ll look back at his Olympic swan song as a fitting conclusion to a fantastic career. Selanne shined for Finland in the 2014 Winter Olympics, scoring two goals to help his country take home bronze by defeating the United States 5-0.
“Twenty-six years ago I played my first game for the national team,” Selanne told USA Today. “I’ve been carrying this jersey with a lot of pride and love. Winning this game, I’m so happy.”
It was an outstanding end to one of the great international runs. Finland chose Selanne to be its flag bearer during the closing ceremonies. He was named the MVP of the tournament. You couldn’t write an ending that was much better than the one Selanne lived out.
Selanne, 43, still had his moments with the Ducks, too. One of the more memorable ones came when he became the third-oldest player to score a playoff goal in NHL history:
It says a lot that Selanne was given a send-off by the Ducks’ local rivals, the Los Angeles Kings, after the two teams finished a seven-game playoff series.
“It’s unbelievable, so much class and respect. That’s what this game is all about,” said Selanne during a post-game interview. “It has been a pleasure to be around for so many years.”
Of course, Selanne also received a special goodbye from Ducks fans.
The greatest Duck in franchise history decided to hang ’em up, but there are still moments to come. The team plans on retiring his No. 8 jersey on Jan. 11.