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Player Profile: Teemu Selanne

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
By Matt Vevoda

Season Overview
Teemu Selanne continued to add to his Hall-of-Fame resume in 2011-12, his 19th NHL season and 13th with the Ducks franchise.

The right winger led the club with 66 points (26 goals, 40 assists). He was the second-oldest player in NHL history to reach that figure in a single season (Gordie Howe had 71 points as a 41-year-old in 1968-69). A native of Helsinki, Selanne also passed his childhood idol Jari Kurri as the highest scoring Finnish player in league history with a goal on March 12 at Colorado.

Teemu Selanne Video Highlights

Selanne reached the 25-goal mark for the fourth straight season and the 16th time of his career. He also continued to be deadly on the power play, potting 12 of his goals (tied for eighth in the league) with the man-advantage. He passed Luc Robitaille for sole possession of third in all-time power play goals (248) during a March 25 game against Boston.

Last season was the first time Selanne had appeared in every regular season contest since the 2006-07 campaign. In doing so, he became the oldest player in NHL history (41 years, 279 days) to have appeared in all 82 games in a single season. Only four other players (Nicklas Lidstrom, Dave Andreychuk, Mark Messier and Ron Francis) have appreared in all 82 games above the age of 40.

With current Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau still on the opposing bench with Washington, Selanne enjoyed his best game of the season in a 5-4 overtime road loss on November 1. He tallied two goals, two assists and a plus-three rating during 18:38 of ice time. He became the oldest player (41 years, 121 days) to score four points in an NHL game since Tim Horton (42 years, 3 days on Jan. 15, 1972). In all, he was the third-oldest player in league history to score four points in a single game (Horton and Gordie Howe).

By the Numbers
663, career goals scored by Selanne since he entered the league in 1992-93. That currently has him ranked 12th on the NHL's all-time list. Since returning to Anaheim in 2005-06, he has averaged 30.14 goals per season. If Selanne continues at that pace, he could crack the top 10 of the league's career goals list at some point in the upcoming campaign.

Looking Forward
Selanne delighted not only Ducks supporters, but hockey fans all over the world, by putting off retirement again and signing a one-year contract with Anaheim on July 12. Though he just turned 42 years old on July 3, the Finnish Flash continues to show zero signs of slowing down. He will continue to be a major part of the Ducks for as long as he wants to stay in the league.

The owner of virtually every career record in Ducks history, Selanne will look to keep ascending up the NHL's all-time scoring lists. He is just two goals behind new Dallas Star Jaromir Jagr, who is in 11th place all-time with 665 goals. The duo has other legends in their sights -  Robitaille (10th, 668), Mario Lemieux (9th, 690), Steve Yzerman (8th, 692) and Mark Messier (7th, 694).

On the points list, Selanne's current total of 1,406 has him in 19th place all-time. He could conceivably dethrone Stan Mikita for 14th place (1,467), with Paul Coffey (1,531) being a little too far away in 13th. Another record to keep an eye on is game-winning goals, where Jagr is the all-time leader with 114. Selanne, currently fourth with 106, is just four away from second place (Brett Hull, 110).

Teemu and his wife, Sirpa, have three sons: Eemil, Eetu, Leevi; and one daughter: Veera. Selanne has a twin brother, Paavo, and another brother, Panu. Teemu has been named the First Godfather to the Children's Hospital in Finland. He was a kindergarten teacher in his native Finland for three years and also served in the Finnish Army. A fan of auto racing and car collecting, Selanne lists a Ferrari Enzo as his favorite automobile. His first career goal came on Oct. 8, 1992 (with the Winnipeg Jets) at San Jose against  goaltender Jeff Hackett. Selanne still holds the league's rookie record for goals with 76. He is the Olympic Men's Hockey all-time leading scorer (37 points in 31 career games) and has won three Olympic medals with Finland (silver in 2006, bronze in 2010 and 2002).

He Said It
"Age is a funny thing. A lot of times, I don’t really feel 42 right now. It all depends how good you feel, how healthy you are and how much passion you have for the game. That is why I still enjoy the game. It’s fun to go to the rink every morning.  It sounds pretty old when you say 42 as a hockey player. Mentally, I am still the same level as Getzlaf and those other guys. That is most important and that is why I am still in the game." - Teemu Selanne
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