Teemu Selanne has an offer from his hometown Finnish club, Jokerit, to join the team for its debut KHL season. What will the future Hall of Famer do? And will he play every game?
How much has Teemu Selanne driven us wild flirting with retirement over the last decade? Even when he’s “gone,” he may not be really gone.
Finnish team Jokerit has offered the future Hall of Famer, 44, a contract. It would mean playing in his home city of Helsinki and with the Finnish League team that developed him. It would also mean helping Jokerit transition to the Kontinental League, as this coming season the franchise will become the circuit’s first Finnish entry.
Selanne told sports.ru he’s considering the offer from team owner Roman Rotenberg, and that he’ll make a decision in the next three weeks.
Finnish reporter Juha Hiitela, however, suggests Selanne would only come back with a special arrangement. The KHL’s brutal travel schedule is well documented, and Selanne may not want to endure it. After all, he’s a busy man, with a restaurant to run, a daughter and three sons, including 16-year-old prospect Eetu. A logical setup would have Teemu play all Jokerit home games and a handful of important road games, plus playoff road games. It’s reminiscent of the arrangements Roger Clemens had with the Houston Astros and New York Yankees late in his career, when he only had to accompany the team on road trips if he was pitching. It rubbed some of his teammates the wrong way, but something tells me Teemu is a bit more well-liked than The Rocket. Methinks The Finnish Flash’s peers would be fine with his special privileges.
Selanne’s ice time dwindled in his final NHL season, but if he’s good enough to score nine goals in the world’s best league at 43, he can handle the world’s second-best league for half a season’s worth of games at 44.
What do you think? Would you like to see Teemu suit up for Jokerit?
Matt Larkin is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin