Finnish National Team retires Selanne’s No. 8

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Teemu Selanne represented Finland at different international events for almost 30 years, and now it was his country’s turn to repay him.

Prior to Wednesday’s World Junior game between Finland and Slovakia, Selanne watched his No. 8 go up to the rafters of the Hartwall Arena in his hometown of Helsinki.

Selanne won a total of six medals during various international competitions, including two silvers (1999 World Championship, 2006 Olympics).

“It was really special to me,” said Selanne of the ceremony, per the Canadian Press. “The national team has been a very important part of my life. I had a chance to play 30 years for the national team. I’ve been very proud to put that jersey on every time when I’ve played.”

How did Selanne start wearing No. 8?

“It just came to me randomly,” said Selanne. “When I was a little kid and the coach gave the jerseys out I got the No. 8. The funny thing is the No. 8 has always followed me.

“Our first address was No. 8, my first motorcycle the licence plate was UC 8, it’s weird how it works like that but it’s always been my favorite.”