The first thing I think of is a smile. Very seldom does he have a bad day. He’s one of those people who, when you’re around him, he makes you happy and makes you feel good about everything. I’ve known him for quite a long time, and I don’t think of him as a superstar hockey player. I think of him as a really good friend and a person who wants to have fun in his life.
On the ice, the things that stand out are his first four or five strides, and his ability to separate himself from a defenseman and the timing to do it. I think it’s remarkable, even at this point, how he can be a couple feet behind a defenseman and he just breaks through and gets open. Obviously, with the amount of goals that he has, there has to be something there. He knows his shot is not the hardest, but it’s just puck placement and making the goaltender move. It’s a pretty unique skill and you don’t see that too often.
Hall-of-Famer. He’s got that passion and energy. As long as he’s played the game, with all the ups and downs, the guy comes to the rink with a smile on his face every day. For the young guys, that’s someone you look up to 100 percent. He just loves it. He loves playing the game. It definitely rubs off on everybody else, especially what he’s done in his career, the achievements, the Stanley Cup, playing for his country. The list goes on and on. I know we’re close to the same age, but I step back and look at him and go, Wow. He’s just a class act.
To me, and I’ve only known him a few months, just a man who loves hockey. He has a passion for the game, and that’s how he’s stayed in the game for so long and been able to feel young every day. Obviously I’ve watched him for years, but one thing I’ve learned about him since I got here is how smart he is with the puck. He sees the ice so well offensively. I always knew he was good, but I’ve seen up close how he is able to slow the game down or speed it up to his pace.
There are so many memories with Teemu. Our friendship has grown since Day 1 that I’ve been here. He’s always made us feel really comfortable. The best memory I have is hugging him at the end of the Stanley Cup. He told me he was done then, and now it’s been five years since. I have a whole bunch of autographed sticks from him from the past few years, all of them with some kind of farewell message. Those are memories that I have and always will have. He’s a great guy, and we’ve had a lot of different other memories on the golf course too.
The way he conducts himself and the way he is every day. He always has a smile on his face and always comes to the rink with a happy attitude. It just feeds throughout the locker room. When you see a guy at his age always like that, it just makes you that much happier to be around him and be here.
The Stanley Cup, it was his first crack at it. To see the tears in his eyes when he lifted it, that is pretty special and something you don’t forget.
You look at his career, all the game and points, it’s pretty unbelievable. It’s an honor to get a chance to play with him and at times on the same line with him. It is special, especially for a Finnish guy like me to see one of the best from Finland, even one of the best from Europe or the whole NHL, as far as goal-scorers. It is unique and it makes you want to play well for him too.
He is amazing. I love to play on this team with him. You come into the locker room and there is always a smile on his face. He brings energy. He is a very funny guy. When we go on the road and are on a bus or airplane, he tells a couple of stories and everybody is laughing. It’s good for the team. Teemu is the best. He’s 41 and one of the best players on our team and in the NHL. It’s a big inspiration for him.
He’s a positive guy and always seems to be in a good mood. That is contagious somehow. Within the last couple of years since we have been teammates here, it seems like there is a new milestone every game that he is achieving. That is just great to see. Now he caught up to Jari Kurri in points [19th on the NHL’s all-time scoring list]. That must be a big thing for him. It’s tough to find words. He’s a legend and a Finnish hockey icon.
He’s definitely a character in the room. He’s a funny guy and always cracks jokes. Lucky me, I got my locker moved down closer to him, so I can hear more of his jokes. He brightens up the room for sure. During the games, he’s pretty vocal. People listen, just because of the guy he is. Teemu Selanne
was one of my childhood heroes, and when I first came here, I didn’t really know how to approach guys like him. But he came up to me and introduced himself. It makes it way easier and it shows what kind of guy he is.
He’s probably one of the nicest guys I have ever met in the game. To see what he’s done and his track record, it’s pretty cool how he is such a humble and nice guy. He’s a guy who is happy every day and is enjoying life. It’s fun to see and inspiring for a guy like myself, who is younger and looking to making a long career of it. It’s been great playing with him. He’s awesome.
He’s incredible. He’s more positive than almost everybody in the room. He comes in every day with a smile on his face and a good work ethic. It’s pretty amazing considering he’s almost 42 years old. The game hasn’t gotten to him and he enjoys every day here. It’s been a real pleasure. Definitely the Stanley Cup is something that comes to my mind when thinking about him. He scored his 600th goal a few years back. That was pretty awesome too. That sticks out in my mind as well.
Right off the bat when I got here, he was really nice and always really open. He just seems to bring so much fun to the rink every day. He always seems to be happy when he is here. That is great to be around a guy like that. I can’t even keep up with the milestones he is reaching. I’m happy for every point he gets right now, which gives us a chance to win. It’s great to have the honor to play with a guy like him. It’s great to see him happy. I hope he reaches as many milestones as possible.