Former Ducks star Teemu Selanne had his jersey raised to the rafters of Anaheim’s Honda Center Sunday, and his jersey retirement speech was as heartfelt and classy as the manner in which the Finn lived on and off the ice.
With the caliber of player and person Teemu Selanne has been over the course of a 21-season, Hall of Fame-caliber professional hockey career, you knew his jersey retirement ceremony was going to be something special. And Sunday night in Anaheim, it was exactly that, with the Ducks putting on a fitting tribute and raising to the rafters the first retired jersey in franchise history.
Before Anaheim’s game against Selanne’s former Winnipeg Jets team, the right winger’s friends, family, past teammates (including Jari Kurri, Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer, George Parros and many more) and dignitaries including NHL commissioner Gary Bettman were on hand to show their appreciation for him. That appreciation included a touching video tribute:
That was followed by the 44-year-old Finnish icon giving a heartfelt speech that exemplified the class and dignity with which he lived his life and treated others:
Selanne then stood proudly on the ice as his No. 8 was hoisted to the top of the Honda Center:
Before the game, Selanne’s former teammates in Anaheim spoke about their memories of playing with the legend, who retired at the end of the 2013-14 campaign and is a lock to be a Hall-of-Famer as soon as he’s eligible: