How much is a 44-year-old recent retiree worth? Well, if that retiree is one of your country's greatest icons of sport, a lot. Teemu Selanne is being offered the equivalent of $10 million to join Jokerit, his home club, in the KHL next season, according to Juha Hiitela, who covers hockey for Finnish media outlet USanomat. The club is also offering Selanne $5 million if he wants to play only home games, according to Hiitela.
That's a lot of cash, more than Selanne ever made in a single season in the NHL and just a hair less than he made over the past three seasons combined.
If the reports are true, that has to be enticing to Selanne, who would likely be afforded a hero's welcome in his native Helsinki, endless perks and benefits and the chance to play one last season at the club he grew up with.
Jokerit will be playing in its first season in the KHL after leaving Finland's top pro division. There is a salary cap in the league, but they often exempt certain players from being on the cap books. Selanne would probably qualify for such an exemption as one of the biggest celebrities in his home country and one of the game's greatest European legends.
The six-time Olympian may not have much in the tank, but if he could summon any of that extra "sisu" he had during the Sochi Olympics, he might be able to put together a nice little season in the KHL.
After his emotional farewell from the Anaheim Ducks last season, perhaps Selanne feels he has nothing left to prove and can start his life after hockey, but $10 million, or even $5 million as a part-timer, is awfully enticing.
His estimated career earnings in the NHL are listed by CapGeek.com at $78.6 million. He probably doesn't need the money, but at least they're trying to make it worth his while to stay in the game.
Selanne recently told a Russian media outlet that he is considering Jokerit's offer and a decision could come within weeks.
The Ducks recently announced they will retire the legendary forward's number on Jan. 11 when Anaheim plays host to the Winnipeg Jets, the city (but not franchise) where Selanne broke into the NHL.
Over 1,451 games in the NHL, Selanne ranks 15th all-time with 1,457 points. In six Olympics appearances with Finland, Selanne has 43 points in 37 games. He also has 48 points in 43 IIHF World Championship games.
In the six seasons leading up to entering the NHL, Selanne played his way up through Jokerit's system. He appeared in 117 games in the Finnish SM-Liiga and had 151 points in 117 games.