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Selanne announces creation of Finnish hockey school

Monday, 08.11.2014 / 12:44 PM / News

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Selanne announces creation of Finnish hockey school
Former Anaheim Ducks star Teemu Selanne is creating a hockey academy in his native Finland with the hopes of developing the next Teemu Selanne.

Former Anaheim Ducks star Teemu Selanne is creating a hockey academy in his native Finland with the hopes of developing the next Teemu Selanne.

Selanne announced the creation of the Teemu Selanne Academy at a press conference Monday in Kirkkonummi, Finland, where he also provided an update on the possibility of him playing this season for Jokerit, the Helsinki-based Kontinental Hockey League team.

"We have goalie schools all over the world, especially in Finland, but not goal scoring schools," Selanne said according to a Finnish-to-English translation by Juha Hiitela, a Canadian-based Finnish journalist who covers the NHL for Ilta-Sanomat. "That's what I want to do."

Selanne said the academy will be based out of a new multi-sport complex featuring two rinks that is expected to open in three years. The complex, designed by Selanne and his wife, Sirpa, will be located in Kirkkonummi, which is approximately 20 miles west of Helsinki, Finland's capital city. Selanne has a summer home in Kirkkonummi.

Selanne, who retired from the NHL after last season, scored 684 goals and had 1,457 points in 1,451 career NHL games. He said the goal of his academy is to teach the best young players from anywhere in the world how to get to the NHL.

"We want the best young players whose goal is in [the] NHL, from Finland, but also from Sweden, Russia and why not from North America," Selanne said. "We want to co-operate with federations and junior clubs. They could send their forwards here to learn."

Although retired from the NHL, Selanne is having conversations with the ownership group for Jokerit about playing this season.

Selanne grew up in Jokerit's system and started his professional career with Jokerit. He returned to play for Jokerit during the lockout that delayed the start of the 1994-95 NHL season.

Selanne said Jokerit's ownership group is not pressuring him for a decision. He has been skating three times a week this summer to stay in shape.

"Right now I'm not ready to play, but they have said I don't need to decide it right away; I can think about it as long as I want, if I still find motivation to play," Selanne said. "Playing in Jokerit is tempting, that's for sure. We'll see. We'll eventually have some kind of deadline for that decision, but not yet. We are approaching this situation same way like we did with Brian Burke and Anaheim in 2007 [when] we I thought I'd retire the first time. Burke said to me back then that take as long as you need."

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