If you were holding out hope legendary winger Teemu Selanne would continue playing at age 44 – either in the KHL or elsewhere – you can finally stop: the surefire Hockey-Hall-of-Famer confirmed his playing days are over for good.
If you were desperately hanging on to the hope hockey legend Teemu Selanne would continue his professional playing career – either in Europe or back in the NHL – even as he approaches his mid-forties, you can let go of it: the surefire Hockey-Hall-of-Famer confirmed Wednesday he’s retired for good.
In an interview with the International Ice Hockey Federation’s website, the 44-year-old Selanne made it clear he won’t be tempted by lucrative contract offers from the KHL or any other league.
“My career is over, that much is certain,” Selanne said. “It’s been nice to lead a life without any schedules, and there’s no place for (playing) hockey in that.”
That means you can mark down May 16, 2014 as Selanne’s last game. The emotion was there on his face that night as soon as the Ducks were eliminated from the playoffs in a 6-2 loss to the eventual champion-Kings:
As one of hockey’s most beloved individuals, Selanne could do anything he wanted to in his post-playing days and few if any would begrudge him for it. But rather than follow the lead of other former elite players who quickly jumped into an NHL team management role, Selanne has his sights set on eventually teaching what he knows best: goal-scoring. He and his wife Sirpa have designed a still-to-be-constructed arena in Kirkkonummi, Finland, and he envisions running a goal-scoring academy there.
“I’ve tried to come up with a way to help the game when I retire” Selanne said. “I think goal scoring is a skill that isn’t talked about, or practised enough.”
If you’re upset you’ll never see Selanne play competitively again, take some solace in the fact you can celebrate his career along with thousands of Anaheim and Winnipeg fans when the Ducks retire his No. 8 jersey before their game against the Jets on Jan. 11.