VIDEO: Selanne gets emotional farewell from players, fans
Teemu Selanne was honored by teammates, opponents and his home fans after the Ducks lost Game 7 to the Kings, effectively ending Selanne's 21-year NHL career.
The 21-year veteran of the NHL went through the traditional handshake line after the game ended, getting kind words from every Kings player he passed and sharing a few of his own.
Selanne was actually mic'd up for the handshake line. To think he must have been heartbroken that everything had come to an end, but he still offered warm words and hugs to many players. It was also great to hear what the Kings had to say.
"I'm going to miss watching you play," said Drew Doughty. "I really am. Thank you."
Selanne's quip to Justin Williams was bleeped out a bit, but it sounded like something about Game 7 heroics.
"It's been an honor, man," said a sincere Jonathan Quick, who then received great praise from Selanne who called him "unbelievable."
Selanne also shared a bit of a longer embrace with Anze Kopitar, saying "You're a hell of a player. Don't give up."
As he reached the end of the line, Selanne was greeted by thunderous applause from the Honda Center crowd. His teammates stayed on the ice with him, as did the Kings, who looked on and tapped their sticks as the cheering swelled around the ice.
Selanne appeared to be holding back tears as the affection rained down from the rafters.
The longtime star was also mic'd up for the handshake line,
Selanne’s final regular-season game in Anaheim was a memorable roller coaster of emotions capped by a terrific postgame salute, but there was still the coming playoffs to look forward to. Now it’s over and one of the greatest players to ever lace up his skates in the NHL will be riding off into the sunset.
“The Finnish Flash” could potentially return, but it seems improbable at best as he's been most emphatic about this being his final season after a few broken vows to retire in previous years.
Selanne has received overtures from the KHL, where Finnish club Jokerit will be headed next season, but Selanne says he plans to stay in California and help grow hockey there.
The 43-year-old showed many times this season that he was still an effective NHL player, notching nine goals and 27 points in 64 games. He also had six points in 12 postseason contests this year.
Selanne wraps his NHL career with 1,457 points, which ranks 15th all-time in the NHL. His 684 goals are 11th most in NHL history.
The Flash started his career with the Winnipeg Jets where he set the rookie scoring record with 76 goals and 132 points in 1992-93, a record that will probably never be broken.
He spent parts of four seasons with the Jets before being traded to the Mighty Ducks in 1995-96. His first stint in Anaheim lasted six years before he moved on to the San Jose Sharks for three seasons. He spent one season with the Colorado Avalanche before heading back to the Ducks for the last nine seasons of his career. He won his first and only Stanley Cup with the team in 2007.
To go out in such a disastrous Game 7 is unfortunate, but it does nothing to tarnish the remarkable legacy left by Selanne, who was one of the last remaining links to the run-and-gun days of the early 1990s in the NHL.
Attention will turn to Jaromir Jagr and Martin Brodeur as part of the old guard in the NHL, but Selanne was one of those players that was universally loved by hockey fans all over the world. The void he will leave in the NHL is a big one, but what incredible memories he left us all with.
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