Anaheim Ducks Teemu Selanne. (CP/Paul Chiasson)
The Finnish Flash had his own cheering section Monday during the Stanley Cup final opener, and those fans were easy to pick out of the crowd.
Dressed in bright orange T-shirts with "Teemu" written across the front, 16 of Selanne's childhood friends cheered him during his first appearance in the final in his 14-year NHL career.
"It was 15 or 14 years ago, before I came to the NHL, I said if I ever got to the Stanley Cup finals, they would come too," said Selanne, who at 36 is the oldest player in the series. "They have good memories."
Selanne said they've all been friends since they were about six or seven, motioning with his hand by his knee to estimate their height at the time they met.
While he was happy to have them in Anaheim to share this special time in his career, he was quick to point out they wouldn't be staying at his house during the final. They won't be following him when the series shifts to Ottawa, either.
As much pull as Selanne might have after leading the Ducks this season with 48 goals and 94 points, he couldn't get them 16 seats together.
"There is like five, three, two, one, one," he said. "It's hard to get tickets."
Selanne went goalless but Anaheim beat the Senators 3-2.