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Finnish Flashback: Anaheim's Teemu Selanne returns to cheers in Winnipeg

NHL.com @NHL

WINNIPEG - Chants of "Teemu" started before the national anthems even began in Winnipeg.

When the scoreboard video camera zoomed in on the Ducks' bench, Teemu Selanne stood up and turned around waving to the cheering Jets fans before Winnipeg's 5-3 victory over Anaheim on Saturday.

"I think it's great to see the city appreciate talent like that and to honour somebody that was a big part of the Jets history," said Mike Krentz, one of many fans sporting a No. 13 Jets jersey with Selanne's name on the back.

Selanne was even cheered when he touched the puck while his teammates were booed, a testament to the fans' adoration of the 19-year veteran whose career began with the old Winnipeg franchise.

Fans then gave him a standing ovation when a video tribute was shown welcoming him back to Winnipeg, while one fan held up a sign that said, "Teemu we forgive you come home."

"He was an all-round good guy," said the 36-year-old Krentz during the first intermission. "Good skill, nice in the community, his smiling face."

Selanne assisted on two goals for Anaheim in the loss.

The 41-year-old right-winger began his NHL career with the Jets in 1992-93, setting rookie records with 76 goals and 132 points during a campaign fans have never forgotten.

Selanne, who had his wife and four children at the game, said earlier this week he was looking forward to saying a proper goodbye to Winnipeg fans.

The Finnish Flash was traded to the Ducks in February 1996 and didn't get to move with the Jets when they relocated to Phoenix at the end of that season and became the Coyotes.

Selanne was later traded to San Jose and also played for Colorado before returning to Anaheim in 2005.

Heading into Saturday's game against the Jets, Selanne led the Ducks with 10 goals and 31 points in what may be his final season before retiring.

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