Before hosting the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night, the Anaheim Ducks will honor Teemu Selanne and raise his legendary No. 8 to the rafters of the Honda Center.
It’s fitting, too, that the Jets will be in town when the Ducks pay tribute to one of the greatest players in NHL history. Selanne began his career with the previous iteration of the Winnipeg Jets, the team that eventually moved on to become the Arizona Coyotes. Those original Jets factor in on this list, as we count down the top 8 moments in the career of Teemu Selanne.
8. Ageless wonder Selanne posts 80 points
When it comes to prolific scorers over the course of their career, there are few players that come close to Selanne. At age 39, many thought Selanne may be on his way to hanging them up. Instead, the legendary Duck signed on for yet another season, and in 2010-11, he posted 31 goals and 80 points in 73 games. He finished the season as the eighth highest point-scorer, and 10th in assists.
7. Rookie sensation scores four in debut season
Selanne’s rookie season was one for the ages, but more on that a bit later. One of the games that put the league on notice that there was a new star in the league was Selanne’s Feb. 28, 1993 outing. With the Jets hosting the Minnesota North Stars, Selanne went off to the tune of four goals on five shots, all but one of the markers coming at even strength.
He would post another four-goal game less than three years later, when he scored four at even strength as the Jets defeated the Edmonton Oilers on Dec. 15, 1995.
6. The first Rocket Richard winner
The Montreal Canadiens donated the Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard trophy in 1998-99, just one season after Selanne and Peter Bondra had tied for the league lead in goals with 52 in 1997-98. Selanne came right back the next year with 47 goals to take home the inaugural ‘Rocket’.
His league-leading 47 goals were the final time he would be the NHL’s top goal scorer. It wasn’t the last time Selanne would hit 40, however, as he notched 40 in 2005-06 and 48 in 2006-07.
5. Selanne becomes the 36th player to 500 goals
Selanne was one of the greatest scorers in NHL history, and he placed himself among the greats when he scored his 500th goal on Nov. 22, 2006. The goal, which came against Colorado’s Jose Theodore, was part of Selanne’s 48-goal, 94-point season in 2006-07. He led the league that season with 25 power play goals.
4. Teemu gets warm welcome back to Winnipeg
Selanne was universally loved in Winnipeg. He was, without a doubt, the franchise player and if there is any city that loved him as much as Anaheim, it’s Winnipeg. Arguably the greatest player to ever suit up for the original Jets franchise and to play professional hockey in Winnipeg, he got an incredibly warm welcome when he came back to Manitoba’s capital.
3. Selanne scores goal 600
There are only 18 players in the history of the NHL that have scored 600 goals, and on March 21, 2010, Selanne became number 18. Coincidentally, the goal also came against the Colorado Avalanche, and the moment after the tally when the entire team joined Selanne on the ice is telling.
Selanne finished his career with 684 goals.
2. Selanne-led Ducks take home the Stanley Cup
In 2003-04, Selanne went in search of his first Stanley Cup when he joined the Colorado Avalanche alongside former teammate Paul Kariya. The fourth seed in the Western Conference, the Avalanche would flame out in the second round, losing to San Jose in six games. The same Sharks that Selanne had spent the previous season with.
The image of an emotional Selanne on the bench before the game is over, and his teary-eyed headshake before speaking with Pierre McGuire, has become one of the most iconic moments in Stanley Cup Final history.
1. Rookie goal-scoring record that may never fall
Teemu Mania was maybe at its height during his rookie season in 1992-93, and for good reason. Fans in Winnipeg will likely remember the Selanne-centric, “The New Boss,” campaign, which was the Jets’ way of acknowledging Selanne’s chase of Mike Bossy’s rookie goal-scoring record.
Bossy’s record 53 goals wasn’t just beaten, it was destroyed. Selanne potted 76, good for a tie for the league lead in goal scoring with Alexander Mogilny and a mark that put him ahead of names like Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman, and Brett Hull. Selanne’s 132-point season would be the best mark of his career by nearly 25 points.
There are many iconic images from Selanne’s career, but none stand out quite like him tossing his glove into the air and firing at it when he broke Bossy’s record with the 54th goal of his rookie campaign.