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Teemu Selanne: ‘It has been a pleasure to be around for so many years’

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.

  1. c9castine - May 17, 2014 at 12:28 AM

    this should be the most commented and positively talked about article on here.

    teemu selanne is a legend. one of the great players of all time, great human to the sport, and i enjoyed watching him play to the last game.

    every player should wish he could have a career like teemu selanne.

    • no - May 17, 2014 at 12:27 PM

      kind of crazy when you realize he’s spent more of his life being a professional hockey player than not

  2. nothanksimdriving123 - May 17, 2014 at 12:33 AM

    The pleasure, Mr Selanne, has truly been ours!! Onnea!! (Good luck)

  3. atwatercrushesokoye - May 17, 2014 at 12:34 AM

    I was never a Selanne fan dating back to his Winnipeg days (gotta hate a rival team’s star) and the fact that the Flames could have had him as a future considerations piece but chose someone else instead (that was a bit a of a mistake!) BUT at the same time I’ve grown to appreciate what a truly great player he’s been and what class he’s shown as an ambassador of hockey, it will be weird to not have him playing in the NHL anymore, hopefully he enjoys retirement!

    No doubt in my mind that he goes into the HOF on the first ballot.

  4. roryflyers - May 17, 2014 at 12:34 AM

    How can anyone not love this guy? Pure class. Definitely will miss his presence in the league.

  5. deathbat20 - May 17, 2014 at 12:39 AM

    It’s been a pleasure Temmu, great career from a great man good luck with life post hockey

  6. clayman61 - May 17, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    Good luck in the future to a world class hockey player and good man..,

  7. atwatercrushesokoye - May 17, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    Somewhat off topic but have we now seen the retirement of the last Jofa helmet in the NHL? Gretzky and Mcsorely used to wear the broomball helmets that have been outlawed and then Selanne and Lemieux and others wore the big massive helmets that no longer are made, in fact in the last few seasons you could see noticeable paint job on Selanne’s helmet as the tried o make it comply with the NHL restrictions.

  8. bobhpine - May 17, 2014 at 12:42 AM

    With modern nutrition and training techniques, there will be more Selannes. Still pretty amazing how good he was though at 43. Jagr will likely tie him and I’m pretty sure Lidstrom could still playing if he wanted to.

    Too bad the Ducks laid such an egg, I was pulling for them.

    • broadstreetbeatdown - May 17, 2014 at 1:03 AM

      Not as big an egg as the penguins laid.

      • c9castine - May 17, 2014 at 11:07 PM

        oh here we go again.

        somebody remind beatdown what his team has been doing the last two years.

        its over man. for both teams. let it go….

    • nothanksimdriving123 - May 17, 2014 at 4:26 AM

      Bobh, yes, nutrition and training have improved, but in my younger days we had the likes of Gordie Howe, Alex Delvecchio, Tim Horton, and several others play well into their 40s. Most of them needed the money, as salaries were a tiny fraction of today’s. Not many have both the talent, endurance, luck and incentive to fight through injuries in order to last 20+ years.

  9. r8rbhawk - May 17, 2014 at 12:45 AM

    When I think about watching some of the all-time greats I always wish I was born earlier so I could have seen Gretzky on the Oilers. Although I missed the Great One in his prime, I did get to see Selanne for his entire career. We are losing one of the best of all time. He never played for my team, but was there really any reason to hate the Finnish Flash? I could never find one. Stick tap for Teemu Selanne.

    • rainyday56 - May 17, 2014 at 3:00 AM

      I was fortunate enough to see the gretzky oilers play against the canucks. You know how they say Fred Astaire could make a broomstick seem alive when he danced with it? Gretzky made Mcdonald Lumly and Semenko look like hockey players when he played a shift with them.. ;)

  10. 1harrypairatesties - May 17, 2014 at 12:48 AM

    Best of luck to you Sir. I’ve enjoyed your play for 20+ years. You are leaving Hockey, but Hockey will never leave you. Time to enjoy the second half of you’re life.

  11. homegrowntalentmn - May 17, 2014 at 12:58 AM

    hockey idol, hockey role model and the classiest man to grace the ice! whats next? coaching??

  12. gmiller305 - May 17, 2014 at 1:27 AM

    Our pleasure to watch a class act and great hockey player since he arrived in Anaheim. You deserved a better send off. The Hall of Fame is moments away. P.S. We’ll be there to watch the Ducks hang your sweater from the rafters.

  13. classicdbrown - May 17, 2014 at 1:45 AM

    Even Kings fans love Selanne. Thank you, Teemu!

  14. rupp246 - May 17, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    Sorry to see him go, great player.

  15. packerfan66 - May 17, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    He is a true class act, legend and gentleman! He has done so much for the game of hockey, especially here in Southern California! The NHL and all hockey fans are going to miss him!!

  16. flyboystransport - May 17, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    Hall of famer and classy guy

  17. guypatsfan - May 17, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    A truly class act by the Kings to tap their sticks in a show of respect and admiration for Teemu Selanne. Like Teemu said, it’s what the game is all about!

  18. stcrowe - May 17, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    If memory serves me, he didn’t even get to the NHL until he was about 22 because of military service and other commitments in his home country. It is too bad that we missed a couple of his formative years, but he more than made up for it.

    He has at least one son entering his junior hockey years, so another Selanne may soon be in the NHL. With careers lasting longer, we will be seeing more sons, like Kapanen and Nylander this year, being drafted soon after their fathers retire.

    • phillyphanatic77 - May 17, 2014 at 11:50 AM

      Or in Brodeurs case, while they’re still playing.

  19. jimeejohnson - May 17, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    He has lived in this nation’s paradise: southern California! Thank you Teemu Selanne for entertaining us.

  20. ducksk - May 17, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    All class. Old school. Wish we were getting some new recruits in the league like him. Don’t seem to be.

  21. jkaflagg - May 17, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    No one left in the league with his skill level..closest might be Datsuk. Alway killed my teams but will miss his artistry….

  22. crazemastercraze - May 17, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    The only person who doesn’t like Selanne is that dick Chris Pronger.

  23. elwaysmilehighdenver - May 17, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    Teemu is and always has been a consummate professional and gentleman.
    The NHL has said goodbye to one of the most exciting players to ever play the game. The league needs more unselfish teammates like T. True Hockey fans can only say thank you T for allowing us to watch you play the game the way it is meant to be played. It’s been a pleasure cheering for you.

  24. slysipops - May 18, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    unfortunately there is a shortage of people with this much class in today’s world ! the world of sports is losing a great role model as well as a great hockey player ! GOOD LUCK …TEEMU !

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