Sometimes he spots it from the team bus as it dips into the tunnel. Sometimes it walks right up to him as he makes the walk through the hotel lobby up to his room after the morning skate.
Other times he'll catch a glimpse of it during pre-game warm-ups, that quaint, retro-blue jersey staring back at him in the stands.
He doesn't have to look to see what's on the back of it.
"When I go to a lot of visiting teams, there's a lot of No. 13 Winnipeg jerseys," Selanne said.
Selanne long ago changed jersey numbers and teams, swapping No. 13 for No. 8, and Winnipeg for Anaheim, but the connection he has with his former team and city is undeniable and as strong as ever.
"There's a reason the plates on the cars have 'Friendly Manitoba.' It's a really friendly city. I had a great (3.5) years there. I didn't have a chance to say goodbye there. That's why I'm really looking forward to going back." --Teemu Selanne
And it will converge for a cinema-like moment Saturday when Selanne, 41 and in his 19th and final season, will return to Winnipeg for the first time since he was traded in 1996.
"Every place where I've played, I've had a special relationship with fans, and Winnipeg was really special," he said. "There's a reason the plates on the cars have 'Friendly Manitoba.' It's a really friendly city. I had a great (3 1/2) years there. I didn't have a chance to say goodbye there. That's why I'm really looking forward to going back."
Though he was there only for a short period, Selanne burst across Manitoba like a comet with a magical 76-goal rookie season and a 100-watt smile.
He endeared himself to fans with his humble demeanor, borne from his Finnish roots. To this day he will sit and chat with fans and sign every last autograph and genuinely enjoy every moment of it.
"To some," said one-time Jets teammate and former Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle of Winnipeg fans, "he's their son."
Carlyle was making his self-described farewell tour as a player in the 1992-93 season when Selanne was a fresh-faced kid with the terrific scoring touch and knack for finding the puck.
Even though Selanne was entering a new culture, Carlyle watched him adapt with his sunny disposition.
"He was a very, very young 23-year-old who didn't have a full comprehension of the English language," said Carlyle, noting that the franchise previously had not had a lot of foreign players. "Then there was this young Finn coming down that swept people off their feet, so that was very special. You look at how popular he is across the city and how popular he is around the League, it speaks to how he is as an athlete and how he is as a person."
"You still remember his celebrations when he scored and how good he is the first year and every year after that," said Backstrom, who now faces Selanne up to four times a season as goalie for the Minnesota Wild.
Backstrom, whose club was the rival to Selanne's club in Finland when both were younger, skated with Selanne in the summer, and knew then that Saturday was on Selanne's radar.
"It's something he's talked about," Backstrom said. "It's going to be special. It's going to be different. There's a couple of things for him this year that he never expected to happen: Going back home and playing NHL hockey in Finland (in the Compuware NHL Premiere Games), and now going to Winnipeg. I think it's going to be something really special for him, and also for the Winnipeg fans."