Pro golfer Ernie Els, his daughter Samantha and former NHL star Teemu Selanne in Augusta, Ga. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Former NHL star Teemu Selanne is in his first year of retirement after a 21-season playing career in North America, but as he showed Wednesday when he served as a caddy for fellow Finn Mikko Ilonen at the Augusta National Golf Club, his competitive juices are still flowing.
Teemu Selanne retired at the end of last season, but the 44-year-old future Hockey Hall of Famer hasn't lost his competitive juices – and on Wednesday in a prelude to the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Ga., he was back in a competition of sorts: as a caddy for Finnish pro golfer Mikko Ilonen.
Selanne carried the clubs for his fellow countryman Ilonen at the Masters Par 3 contest, an event annually played at Augusta National Golf Club before the Masters Tournament, which begins Thursday this year. Clearly, Ilonen trusts him despite the less-than-stellar golf skills he displayed in the summer of 2013, when he made this lighthearted video announcing his return to the Anaheim Ducks and the NHL for one more season:
If any star athlete is humble enough and enough of a team player to act in a secondary role, it's Selanne, who was renowned for his class and grace during his 21-season NHL career. He's still an ambassador for hockey - and an incredible one – no matter where he goes.