Feb 22, 2014, 1:24 PM EDT
So it’s appropriate the international phase of his career had a storybook ending, as Selanne scored two goals in his final Olympic contest — Saturday’s 5-0 win over the U.S. in the bronze medal game — making him the oldest medal winner in men’s Olympic hockey history.
“What a great ending,” Selanne said, per the Toronto Star. “Twenty-six years ago I played my first national team game. I’ve been carrying this jersey with a lot of pride and love.”
Since the NHL started sending its players to the Olympics in 1998, Finland has led the pack with four medals and Selanne is a big part of the reason why. Just as he has excelled on the NHL stage, Selanne has consistently found a way to elevate his game.
He has 24 goals and 43 points in 37 Olympic contests. He tied the Olympic lead in scoring twice (1998 and 2006) and goals twice (1992 and 2006) and, as noted by Sportsnet’s John Shannon, has been a pretty consistent scoring threat (save a slump in Vancouver):
Selanne: Albertville: 7 goals, Nagano: 4 goals, SLC: 3 goals. Turin: 6 goals. Vancouver: 0 goals. Sochi: 3 goals. #Wow
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) February 22, 2014
Despite being 43 and having his role with the Anaheim Ducks being significantly diminished, Selanne played a critical role in Finland’s success from start to finish on Sochi. He had six points in six games and, for the first time, agreed to lead the Finns while serving as captain.
“Usually I’m [alternate] captain and a lot of times if they have asked if I want to be captain, I don’t really need a letter to be a leader,” Selanne explained to NHL.com before the tournament started. “A lot of times it’s better if somebody else going to be [captain]. But now it’s my last one, this time I felt it’s time to be captain and I’m very honored.”
Selanne wanted to make the most of his last trip to the Olympics as a player. As has been the case so many times before, he succeeded.
“It’s a dream come true,” he said, per AP. “What a great ending.”
Mar 13, 2014, 9:09 PM EDT
Former Blue notches his 25th of the year.
Mar 13, 2014, 7:54 PM EDT
“They’re all over the place.”
Mar 13, 2014, 7:10 PM EDT
He leads all Bruins defensemen in scoring.
Mar 13, 2014, 7:03 PM EDT
Appeared in over 800 games with Hartford, Carolina and Philadelphia.
Mar 13, 2014, 6:39 PM EDT
“They put in a system where we know we can win each and every game.”
Mar 13, 2014, 5:25 PM EDT
The 42-year-old recently represented the Czech Republic in the Olympics.
Mar 13, 2014, 4:59 PM EDT
Also, what’s wrong with the Ducks?
Mar 13, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT
‘Canes d-man shattered his heel last year.
Mar 13, 2014, 4:11 PM EDT
It seems fitting that the Sabres are in town.
Mar 13, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT
What could be more important than a hockey game against San Jose?
Mar 13, 2014, 2:15 PM EDT
Comments section should be interesting for this one.
Mar 13, 2014, 2:11 PM EDT
All the latest from the blue paint…
Mar 13, 2014, 1:26 PM EDT
After five straight losses.
Mar 13, 2014, 12:42 PM EDT
The rich get richer.
Mar 13, 2014, 12:17 PM EDT
“The whole time in my head I never thought about getting traded or leaving at free agency time.”
Mar 13, 2014, 12:12 PM EDT
The Wild have a nice cushion, but a tough remaining schedule.
Mar 13, 2014, 11:48 AM EDT
Just months after he demanded a trade out of Washington.
Mar 13, 2014, 10:50 AM EDT
They have to adjust after losing Michael Grabner.
Mar 13, 2014, 9:58 AM EDT
It looks like the Penguins might stick with that line going forward.
Mar 13, 2014, 9:01 AM EDT
Their pre-Olympic slump seems like a distant memory.
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