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Selanne gets warm welcome in Winnipeg

by Patrick Williams /

WINNIPEG – It took the national anthems to finally calm a Winnipeg crowd that had waited nearly 16 years to thank Teemu Selanne in person.

Selanne received applause after he was the first Duck to hit the ice behind Anaheim goaltender Dan Ellis for Saturday night's game with the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre -- his first game in Winnipeg since 1996. Selanne tossed several pucks into the crowd while the Ducks warmed up and again when he left the ice.

As the teams stood at their benches waiting for the national anthems, a chant of "Tee-mu!" broke out in one of those loudest cheers heard all season at the MTS Centre. Selanne waved several times to the crowd before the U.S. anthem began.

Selanne skated onto the ice after a stoppage of play 32 seconds into the game and received another ovation. Linemates Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry received boos every time they touched the puck, as has become customary for visiting stars in Winnipeg -- but those boos quickly turned to cheers each time the puck made its way to Selanne.

Finally, the first television timeout 7:59 into the game brought the much-discussed public tribute from the Jets. With the home team already leading 2-0 and the crowd in an exuberant mood, a video documenting Selanne’s greatest moments during his three-plus seasons with the Jets (1992-96) played on the center-ice video board.

Selanne and his Ducks teammates gazed up at the video, and when Selanne’s record-breaking 54th goal of the 1992-93 season appeared, the "Tee-mu!" chants broke out again before Selanne saluted the crowd prior to the resumption of play.

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