Saturday, January 30, 2010
After introducing himself to the NHL with 76 goals as a rookie with the Winnipeg Jets in the 1992-93 season, while winning the Calder Trophy, Teemu Selanne would go on to play four seasons in Winnipeg before being traded in a cost cutting move by the desperate and soon to relocate Jets to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in February of 1996.
After six prolific seasons in Anaheim, including two seasons over 50 goals, Selanne was dealt to the San Jose Sharks at the trading deadline in 2001, where he would skate for two additional seasons.
After leaving the Sharks, Selanne would package himself with former Mighty Ducks teammate Paul Kariya at a discounted rate in an effort to win a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche. Selanne, however, would suffer the worst offensive season of his career by far, recording only 32 points in 78 games. Selanne would have surgery following that season, which would force him to miss the 2004-05 season, sidetracking his plans to play for Jokerit Helsinki during the NHL lockout.
Selanne would sign a one year contract with the Mighty Ducks following the end of the lockout. Having recovered from his knee surgery, no one player benefitted from the year off more than Selanne. Unlike several other veteran players who chose not to play during the lockout and were never the same again, Selanne was rejuvenated by the combination of being healthy once more and a return to familiar territory in Anaheim.
He racked up 40 goals and 50 assists for 90 points, his most in six years. During the 2005-06 season Selanne would score his 1,000th NHL point on this date in 2006 when he scored his second goal of the game against the Los Angeles Kings, only the seventh European player to reach that milestone. Additionally, the Mighty Ducks would go on the deepest playoff run in Selanne's career, reaching the Western Conference Finals as Selanne chipped in 14 points in 16 games. He was recognized for his accomplishments that season by being named the 2006 recipient of the Masterton Trophy.
Selanne's regular season success of the year before was repeated the following year as the team underwent a name change under new ownership. Now simply the Anaheim Ducks, the team improved 12 points in the standings to win the Pacific Division title behind Selanne's team leading 94 points, the fourth highest season total of his career, from 48 goals and 46 assists. Selanne's 48 goals included him scoring the 500th goal of his career on November 22, 2006 against Colorado, making him only the second Finnish player, along with Jari Kurri, to score 500 NHL goals.
Five weeks later, on New Year's Eve, Selanne would play in his 1,00oth career game to finish off the calendar year with yet another milestone, having already reached 1,000 points and 500 goals during 2006.
2007 would also see Selanne set marks as the Ducks all-time leading goal scorer with 301 and become the first player over age 35 with consecutive 40-goal seasons.
The Ducks would march through the playoffs, defeating both the Minnesota Wild and then Vancouver Canucks in five games, before dispatching the Detroit Red Wings in six to reach the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time, facing off against the Ottawa Senators. The Ducks would win the first two games at home before losing the third in Ottawa. They would rebound by winning game four on the road, sending them back to Anaheim with a chance to take the cup at home, which they did by a decisive score of 6-2, giving an emotional Selanne his first opportunity to hoist the Stanley Cup.
He remained on the sidelines for the beginning of the 2007-08 season before returning to the ice in January. He became the Ducks all-time point scoring leader on February 12th and recorded his 600th assists later in the month.
Today's featured jersey is a 2005-06 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Teemu Selanne jersey as worn by Selanne during the 2005-06 season. This jersey drew "love it or hate it" reaction when first introduced.
The jersey's "baseball style" script logo was a radical departure for the NHL and the simplified waist and arm striping didn't have the Mighty Ducks "look", as they were the innovators of the diagonally striped jersey back in 1993. The interlocking "MD" monogram on the shoulders also did not look like anything that had come before in the cartoonish history of Mighty Ducks logos. Another polarizing aspect of this alternate jersey was the complete omission of the color jade from the not only the jersey, but the logo as well.
2005-06 was the final year for this style jersey, as the club would undergo one of the most radical redesigns to a team's look in league history, as they would change not only their colors, but modify the team's name as well now being under new ownership, changing from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, to simply the Anaheim Ducks.
Plenty of video today. First a quick video of Selanne hoisting the cup followed by being interviewed on the ice following the game, including the usual, stupid "are you going to retire" question, and then Selanne's press conference afterwards.
Our next video shows Selanne bringing the Stanley Cup home to Finland.
Our last video for the day shows Selanne indulging his passion for auto racing by competing in the 1998 Rally Finland, a video we're certain the Mighty Ducks management did not enjoy watching as their star player flies through the air in a forest at breakneck speeds.