The Anaheim Ducks retired Teemu Selanne’s jersey on Sunday, honoring the forward who became the team’s leading scorer in his illustrious 21-season NHL career.
Eight months after Selanne ended his predominantly Anaheim career, the Ducks unveiled a banner in honor of the No.8 at a pre-game ceremony.
“I consider myself very lucky for a number of reasons,” Selanne told the crowd, biting back tears. You have made this place a special place for me. It’s incredible. You have treated me so well. Thank you for making my life so special. ”
Commissioner Gary Bettman, Ducks owner Henry Samueli and Selanne’s family joined many former teammates on the ice rink stage ahead of the Ducks vs. Winnipeg Jets game, Selanne’s first NHL roster. After the ceremony, the two teams warmed up by donning uniforms of the different styles Selanne wore with these formations – the Ducks pulling out different styles of mothballs used in the 1990s.
After delivering his speech to the crowd, the 11th top scorer in NHL history joined his family members under a spotlight and watched the banner with his famous No.8 rise to the heights of the Honda Center.
Selanne won the Calder Trophy as the Most Rookie in 1993 and the Stanley Cup in 2007. He was a fan favorite with electrifying goals.
Samueli called Selanne a “true face of the team” and an exemplary leader who “touched thousands of lives” through her community work.
“We greet you, we thank you, we love you,” added Samueli. You will forever be part of the soul of the Anaheim Ducks. ”
Selanne’s jersey was the first to be retired by the Ducks, which emerged in 1993 – months after Selanne set an NHL record with 76 goals in his first NHL season with the Jets.
Bettman called the record one that “probably never will be broken” and he credited Selanne with the boom in hockey in Southern California – as fans gave the commissioner their traditional wave of boos.
“I’m ready to be booed anytime for Teemu,” Bettman said. If I’m not mistaken, it looks like “Tee-muuuuuu”. “
The – Mighty at the time – Ducks acquired Selanne in February 1996 and he returned for good with the team in 2005 after short stints with the San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche.
In 1,451 NHL games, Selanne registered 684 goals and 773 assists. His 1,457 points place him 15th in NHL history.
He played 15 seasons in Anaheim, where he still lives year round with his wife and their four children, and he dominates Ducks history in the majority of offensive categories including goals (457), assists ( 531) and matches played (966).
Selanne has also competed in the Olympics six times and is the leading scorer in Olympic tournament history with 43 points. He helped Finland get their hands on bronze three times and silver in 2006 in Turin.