Teemu Selanne’s storied career came to an end on Friday night after a disappointing 6-2 defeat to the Los Angeles Kings in Game 7 of the Anaheim Ducks’ Western Conference semifinal series. Though Selanne did not go out with the exit he was hoping for with his team, he certainly received a sendoff for which he was worthy.
The Kings remained on the ice following their win to give Selanne a stick salute, as did the Ducks. Selanne grew emotional at the site and barely was able to keep himself from crying.
At 43, Selanne does not plan to play in the NHL again, though he has left the door open for the possibility of playing in the KHL.
Selanne broke into the NHL in the 1992-93 season as a rookie phenom with the Winnipeg Jets. He has played 1,451 games and scored 684 goals while recording 773 assists for an impressive total of 1,457 points, and he considers the 2007 Stanley Cup he won with Anaheim to be one of the crowning moments of his career.
“The 2007 Stanley Cup has to be the biggest crown for my career,” Selanne said after the game via the AP. “To be honest, the most proud I am is I have been able to play so many years and at this age. You all know when you get older, it’s not going to get any easier. But to be able to compete against these young guys and still enjoy this and play well, that has been the greatest thing in my career. I’m really thankful for that.”
Selanne ranks 15th in NHL history in total points and 11th in goals. He’s been playing so long that I remember being in fourth freaking grade when he burst onto the scene with 76 goals as a 22-year-old rookie. He led the league in goals two more times during his career and made 10 All-Star games. He will go down as one of the greatest Ducks and players in league history.