Spotlight on the Opponent: Teemu Selanne

What: Anaheim at Detroit
When: Tuesday, December 17, 7:30pm (TV: FSD)

NHL

When Teemu Selanne entered the NHL, George Bush was president—the first George Bush.

The Winnipeg Jets were in the league—the first Winnipeg Jets.

The Red Wings’ last Stanley Cup championship was still in 1955.

And, most ironically, the Anaheim Ducks didn’t even exist.

The NHL consisted of 24 teams in the fall of 1992, when Selanne made his big splash.

Selanne was a rookie for the Jets, a 22-year-old puck magician and sniper from Finland.

And what a splash Selanne made!

The RW Selanne scored an amazing 76 goals in his rookie year, adding 56 assists for an astounding 132 points.

These days, it might take even the most heralded rookies two full seasons, and then some, to amass 132 points.

By comparison, the great Sidney Crosby scored 39 goals in his rookie year of 2005-06—about half of Selanne’s rookie total in 1993.

Selanne was Winnipeg’s first round draft choice (10th overall) in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft. The Helsinki native spent the next four years playing in his homeland before finally coming to North America in 1992.

There were plenty of goalies who wished Selanne would have stayed in Finland, as Teemu hit the ice skating, and he hasn’t really stopped since.

Today, at 43 years of age, Selanne may finally be showing signs of slowing down.

Selanne is nine years into his second stint with the Ducks franchise, and after scoring 12 goals in 46 games last season, the Finn has just four goals and four assists in 27 games.

Clearly, Selanne is wrapping up a Hall of Fame career, with his 679 goals and 1,438 points.

Finally, at age 36, Selanne won a Stanley Cup, with the Ducks in 2007. In that playoff year, Selanne scored a killer goal in overtime to beat the Red Wings in Detroit in the Conference Finals.

After his mind-boggling rookie year, Selanne scored over 50 goals just twice more, but his consistency as a 25-to-30-goal scorer puts him among the elite goal scorers in league history. In his 20 seasons previous to this one, Selanne has scored 20+ goals 17 times.

The “Finnish Flash” scored a goal in the Ducks’ last game, snapping a personal 19-game drought in that category which was the longest of his illustrious career.

Selanne, famously, wears no.8 for the Ducks.

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