May 17, 2014, 12:19 AM EDT
It was an emotional end for Teemu Selanne on Friday.
The Anaheim Ducks lost to the L.A. Kings in Game 7 of their second-round series, and it’s Selanne’s intention to retire from his playing career. He’s 43 years old and has had a Hall-of-Fame career on the ice, with 684 goals and 1,457 points in 1,451 regular season games. More importantly, he’s gained the respect of so many people around the hockey world.
Members of the Kings shook Selanne’s hand and embraced him at the end of Friday’s game, then lined up at their blue line, tapping their sticks in salute him. It was a classy moment for a classy individual.
“It’s unbelievable, so much class and respect. That’s what this game is all about,” said Selanne during a post-game interview. “It has been a pleasure to be around for so many years.
“There’s going to be a huge hole to fill. I’ll probably go try out for a few rec league teams,” he added, as per the Anaheim Ducks Twitter account.
Covered Selanne as cub reporter when he was a rookie with the Winnipeg Jets. This tribute is fitting of one hockey's greats.—
Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) May 17, 2014
fans chant, "Teemu" and Duck players salute crowd with raised sticks.—
Helene Elliott (@helenenothelen) May 17, 2014
We’ll miss Teemu. It been an honor to watch him all these years. Truly a legend.—
LA Kings (@LAKings) May 17, 2014
Respect for TEEMU—
Dave Bolland (@DaveBolland) May 17, 2014
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