When Teemu Selanne decided to return to the Anaheim Ducks for an 18th NHL season, it was inevitable that his climb in the League's record books would continue.
Selanne scored on the power play midway through the third period of the Ducks' 5-2 win over the Stars on Tuesday night, giving him 611 career goals and moving him past the legendary Bobby Hull and into 15th place on the all-time list.
"I've met (Hull) many times, and I never imagined I'd score more goals than him," said the 40-year-old Selanne, who also had an assist to give him 801 points with the Ducks. "It's unbelievable, when you look back at your career, the numbers. Good things happen when you play long.
"When I read my name in the same story with Bobby Hull or somebody else, it's a big compliment. I'm thankful for all these years."
Selanne, who burst onto the scene in 1992-93 by scoring a rookie-record 76 goals for the Winnipeg Jets, is in his second tour of duty with the Ducks. He has also spent time with the Sharks and Avalanche.
Since that incredible rookie season, Selanne has eclipsed 50 goals twice in a season and has at least 40 goals six times. His 611 goals come in 1,196 regular-season games.
Known throughout his career as "the Finnish Flash," Selanne grew up not only with immense talent but an understanding and appreciation of the sport's great history.
"Automatic, you know those names," Selanne said. "I used to have Guy Lafleur skates."
I have been blessed to play for 16 years in the NHL; it has been an amazing ride. I would like to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers organizations and owners for providing me the opportunity to play the sport I love for so many years. I could have never played for so long or accomplished all that I have without the unwavering love and support from my wife, Heather, our three sons, Ryan, Lucas, and Mason, and my parents.
— Martin St. Louis after announcing his retirement from the NHL on Thursday