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Looking back at Selanne's 600 goal career

Mar 22, 2010, 8:30 PM EST

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teemu.jpgIn the same year that his former partner-in-crime Paul Kariya netted his 400th career goal, “The Finnish Flash” Teemu Selanne hit the 600 career goal milestone during the Ducks’ 5-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche Sunday night. The San Francisco Examiner painted the picture.

Selanne connected 34 seconds into the second period on his fifth shot of the game, scoring into a wide-open net during a power play with goalie Craig Anderson out of position after a furious scramble in front of the crease.

Selanne is now the 18th player in NHL history to hit that mark, but apparently the Finnish winger has at least a few other milestones ahead of him. The Los Angeles Times points out that Selanne can pass his boyhood idol Jari Kurri to become Finland’s all-time NHL goal scoring champion. I’m not sure if the still-fairly-potent Finn will come back next season to chase other records, but he could also eclipse Jaromir Jagr’s all-time goal scoring record for European players (649) if he had a great season or two.

Either way, Selanne is one of the greatest Finnish players ever and seems like a shoo-in to make the Hockey Hall of Fame. After the jump, I’ll provide a timeline of Selanne’s career.


selanne600.jpg* – Interesting factoid to start things off: Selanne originally wanted to wear No. 8 but his future coach Randy Carlyle already had that number. Then again, that bit of trivia was taken from Wikipedia so administer your grain of salt.


* – That didn’t impede Selanne’s progress at all, however, as he famously scored an incredible 76 goals and 132 points in his rookie season. Hitting that mark is particularly special since he and Alex Mogilny are the last two players to score at least 70 goals in one season.

* – The next few years were a little rocky, with injuries and the lockout curtailing his production. Selanne eventually would be traded to the new Mickey Mouse organization in Anaheim.

* – Selanne had a great run in what would be his first stay with the Ducks, even if the team didn’t have much beyond him and Kariya at the time. Among his honors were an All-Star Game MVP and a Rocket Richard trophy.

* – Eventually the Finn was traded to the San Jose Sharks in 2001. Let’s just say that things did not go very well with the Bay area team.

* – Way back in 2003, Selanne agreed to join forces once again with Kariya … this time with the mighty Colorado Avalanche! I once compared this situation to Karl Malone and Gary Payton joining Kobe Bryant and Shaq for the Lakers. Oddly enough, the Kariya-Selanne experiment was an even bigger letdown than Payton-Malone.

* – After a lockout year that included knee surgery, it looked like Selanne was done. Brian Burke didn’t think so and signed the Finn to very reasonable contract to return to Anaheim. He had such a great rebound season that he won the Bill Masteron trophy in 2005-06.

* – Selanne had two fantastic seasons back with Anaheim, scoring 90 and 94 points. Of course, in 2006-07 he also was an important part of the Ducks’ dominant Stanley Cup victory.

* – The last two years haven’t been kind to the winger injury-wise, but he’s still been pretty solid all things considered (90 points in his last 110 games isn’t too shabby).

It’s been a career of dramatic highs and lows for “The Finnish Flash” but I think he should be remembered as a graceful, swift skater with one of the deadliest releases the league has ever seen. I wouldn’t mind seeing one more year out of Teemu, either. Feel free to share some of your favorite memories of the great sniper.

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