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Teemu Selanne enjoying life after hockey

Retired Ducks star having fun being with family, hosting reality TV show

by Lisa Dillman @reallisa / Staff Writer

ANAHEIM -- Husband, father, son, restaurateur, reality TV star, retired hockey player and an occasionally frustrated golfer with a love-hate relationship with the sport.

There seems to be no limit to the present roles and future possibilities for Teemu Selanne, who would appear to be a virtual lock to join the Hockey Hall of Fame later this year.

But you can cross one position off the list.

"Going on the ice again and trying to make 25 players happy," Selanne said, looking dubious.

OK, he won't be coaching in the NHL. Selanne's cheerful love of life and the day-to-day grind behind the bench never seemed like a practical match.

Selanne, 46, retired in 2014 and was at Honda Center on Saturday, taking part in promotional activities for the Anaheim Ducks at the NHL Centennial Fan Arena traveling tour stop.

Tweet from @NHL: Teemu is loving the Centennial Fan arena, and @AnaheimDucks fans are loving @TeemuSel8nne. #NHL100

He talked about his day-to-day life in retirement with his wife and four children and other possible future options in the NHL. Building a team sounds more intriguing. One of his Finnish countrymen, Jarmo Kekalainen, broke a big barrier in 2013 when the Columbus Blue Jackets made him the first Europe-born general manager in the NHL.

But it is still too early to think about an advisory or management job in the League, according to Selanne, who served as an adviser to management for Team Finland for the World Cup of Hockey in 2016.

"Not yet," he said. "It was nice to get back 4-1/2 weeks with the Finnish team. I don't think I'm ready. You need so much time. It's almost like a second career. I don't think I have that energy and passion yet. Maybe in the future."

Selanne won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007 and had his No. 8 retired by Anaheim in 2015. He started his career in Winnipeg and had two stints with Anaheim, finishing his NHL career with the Ducks after playing parts of three seasons with the San Jose Sharks and one with the Colorado Avalanche. The career numbers: 1,451 games played, 684 goals and 1,457 points in 21 seasons.

"I'm joking to my friends that if I would know how much fun it is, I would have retired a couple of years earlier," he said, laughing.

"The greatest thing is there is no schedule. Over 30 years with a certain schedule, and now I don't have it. One thing also people don't realize is how disciplined a life you have to live or you want to live when you play. When it comes to eating and resting, in many ways it's a selfish life too if you have family.

"I remember many times the family wanted to do something and rollerblading or biking … I had to rest. We went with my schedule. Now I don't have it. I enjoy golf trips, tennis trips, ski trips. We go to Finland once in a while; [we] went to Russia also."

Selanne is putting in some time at his restaurant in Laguna Beach and one of his sons is working there. His other two sons play hockey, and Selanne said Eetu Selanne, who is playing with the Madison Capitals of the USHL, has committed to Northeastern University. Daughter Veera, 9, is playing soccer and tennis.

Another project occupying his time has been a Finnish sports reality show called "Superstars." Selanne finished taping the second season, during which he served in more of a hosting role. One of the second-season participants was Sami Hyypia, a Finnish soccer star who played 10 seasons for Liverpool in England's Premier League.

Each athlete on the show gets a day when he decides what the group will do. It appeals to Selanne's adventurous spirit and daredevil side. Just as important to Selanne, however, were the candid conversations around the dinner table at the end of the day.

"All the fans know about what the athletes have done," he said. "But they don't know how it happened and what kind of stuff people went through. All the battles. Sometimes [the athletes] start crying because there's something so emotional. …. When you have 12, 14, 16 days together you start trusting so much with each other. It's so easy to talk athlete to athlete."

Selanne seems just as eager to talk about Finnish rookie forward Patrik Laine, the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. Laine, who has 21 goals and 16 assists, looks nicely positioned to accept the baton of stardom from Selanne.

"It's amazing how good he has been," Selanne said. "We all knew he was going to be great. You never know how long it takes. He's so young. I think he's still 18. If I compare myself at that age, I would not be at that rate. But that's the way how the system works now. The players are ready earlier and earlier.

"For me, it's a more special thing that he got drafted by Winnipeg. I see a lot of similarities there. I knew he's going to make a big impact with the fans.

"He's been fun to watch. I've been waiting a long time when we get a superstar status player for Finland. We have a lot of good players. But … finally we have."

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