GDB LXXIV: Selanne's last game at RX1

Jason Gregor
March 26 2010 02:41PM

Colorado Avalanche v Anaheim Ducks

The Finnish Flash will take one last skate at Rexall Place, before skating off into retirement, and he has a chance to make it a very memorable evening.

This past Sunday, Teemu Selanne became only the 18th player in NHL history to score 600 goals. He trails his childhood idol, Jari Kurri, by only one and good tie him or even surpass him in the same rink that Kurri used to rip one-timers.

When we asked Selanne about that possibility he admitted he hadn’t thought about it, “That would be really neat. I never thought I’d score as many goals as Jari Kurri. I had his and Wayne Gretzky’s poster on my wall as a kid. They were my idols.”

Selanne is lock to make the Hall of Fame and in his 15th NHL season he can still score. Selanne has a respectable 21 goals in 47 games, but the game has changed a lot since he tore up the NHL in 1992/1993. Selanne scored 76 goals as a rookie for the Winnipeg Jets, and that record will never be broken. A player would have a better chance to break Gretzky’s 92 goal season, than score 76 goals as a rookie.

Selanne has scored 147 goals as a Jet, 64 with San Jose, 16 in Colorado and 373 as a Duck. He has 21 hat-tricks, two four-goal games and he has scored in 52 different NHL arenas. He scored his first goal at the famous Cow Palace in San Jose beating Jeff Hackett. Selanne told us the story this morning like it had happened last night. Even after 600 goals, he still remembers the first one very vividly.

Funny thing is Selanne didn’t even work that hard in his rookie year according to him and his then-teammate-and-now-head-coach, Randy Carlyle. “Lots of practices I barely broke a sweat back then,” laughed Selanne. “Rest was the weapon, and I saved all my energy for the game.”

Carlyle was a 36-year-old veteran in his last season when Selanne sniped 76 goals, but he didn’t like Selanne’s laissez-faire attitude. “The one thing he does now is he works a lot harder than he did as a rookie. That is where the conflict personally between the two of us started. I was a veteran player and I didn’t appreciate a young kid coming and not working as hard as he needed to, or as hard as I thought he needed to.

“His answer to that was I wasn’t the coach and I was a player and why should I have any comments on his work ethic,” laughed Carlyle. “That wasn’t the same answer when I got the job in Anaheim. Teemu is one of the hardest workers on our team and is a great influence on everyone on the team. The rink is his happy place. He still comes to the rink with a smile on his face and that rubs off on the young guys.”

Selanne vs. Kurri

Both are Fins, and both are in the 600-goal club, so it is only natural to ask who was better. Saku Koivu put it best I think. “Teemu is the most dynamic Finnish player ever. He has the ability to make highlight plays and his first step is one of the best of all-time. Jari’s was a better all-around player. Both are legends in Finland so I don’t know if you can say one is better. But Teemu was flashier.”

Hard to argue with that comparison, and the eras they played in are different. Selanne is a better goal-scorer, (not as good of a one-timer though) but Kurri was a better overall player.

Selanne also made it clear that his 600th goal means more to him than 602, if he gets it, and surpasses Kurri. A classy player and one hell of a goal scorer.

JDD and Gagner

Jeff Deslauriers will start tonight because according to Pat Quinn, “Basically it was a 50-cent piece that decided it,” chuckled Quinn. It came down to Devan Dubnyk still not being 100% ready to go. He hasn’t eaten a lot of food and he will start in St. Louis. It sounds like the goalies will rotate the rest of the way, but Quinn wasn’t guaranteeing anything in that department.

Sam Gagner will sit out tonight due to a sore hip. It’s been bothering him for a couple of weeks, and he re-aggravated it in practice yesterday. With Gagner sitting out Patrick O’Sullivan will draw back in and play with Ryan Potulny and Robert Nilsson. Marc Pouliot will shift back to centre and play with Zach Stortini and Mike Comrie tonight.

Ryan Getzlaf will sit out tonight for the Ducks and rest his ankle. According to Carlyle, they plan on playing him Sunday.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 Pajamah
March 27 2010, 12:25PM
Trash it!
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Brent Severyn's cousin was my coach when I went back to jungle B for half a year the year he won the Cup. Brent, my coach and the boys took the Cup to the Iron Horse that night and I drank out that sumb!tch like it was going out of style! At that point, the dream was dying - 3 dub camps, a season in the AJ & relegated back to the jungle, it was already dead - so I figured why not, its not like I'll get the chance to win it. AWESOME night!

thats 3 WHL camps, 1 AJHL season than the majority of us.

Midget Tier 3 drop out.

That said, playing in Edmonton Rec. Leagues you occasionally get games against some pros

Erik Christensen lighting our team up for 11 points, thats the closest I've been to the "dream"

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#52 Travis Dakin
March 27 2010, 12:46PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

@ Travis & Cory

'War' comes from The Jim Rome Show. 'Clones' call in and give their take and then usually at the end of their call (if they make it that far), they say "War..."

For example, I might say something like "war the Flames making the playoffs" (no, not this year) or you may say "war Taylor Hall/Tyler Seguin scoring 50+ pts next year for the Oil".

Capiche?

No capiche. That is weird. haha But thanks for the help. Perhaps I should find a way to listen to the Rome show once in a while.

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#53 RossCreekNation
March 27 2010, 12:53PM
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@Pajamah

Not to be THAT guy, but a funny story nonetheless:

When I tried to fight Chris Phillips in Lethbridge camp (he was getting ready to head to Ottawa, so really he had no reason to fight), he just looked at me and said something along the lines of "Don't waste my time, rook". It made me mad at the time, but I LOL at that now.

But when Shaun Sutter (Brian's boy, I think) wouldn't go me (ya, that's right - I tried to fight a Sutter), it pissed me off! That chickensh*t tucked-tail-and-ran all over the ice. I'm only 5-11, so I dunno what his problem was. I'd say he suffered from cowardice.

I also remember with great pride the time Dale Purinton lambasted me into the boards. Good times!

Oh ya... and my buddy's jaw still clicks ever since he fought Eric Godard there, LOLZ. BIG mistake!

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#54 RossCreekNation
March 27 2010, 01:02PM
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@Travis Dakin

EX:

Hey Romie, whats up... I hear that Travis Dakin is a great guy... We need more people like him in this world... the guy's a class act and always has a smile on his face... really he's someone every kid should look up too... that's all I got Rome... war getting drunk with Travis Dakin at The Pint sometime in the next year or so... GOODNIGHT NOW!!

Capiche?

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#55 Reggie
March 27 2010, 01:14PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Brent Severyn's cousin was my coach when I went back to jungle B for half a year the year he won the Cup. Brent, my coach and the boys took the Cup to the Iron Horse that night and I drank out that sumb!tch like it was going out of style! At that point, the dream was dying - 3 dub camps, a season in the AJ & relegated back to the jungle, it was already dead - so I figured why not, its not like I'll get the chance to win it. AWESOME night!

Brent's dad was my coach for a couple seasons and I played midget hockey with his brother. Brent would come out every once and while to our practices. He was hell on wheels and had amazing skill compared to anyone else on our team. To see him just be a journeyman in the NHL shows the elite level of the NHL players. In aside, also played a season of hockey with Brad Werenka - a Two Hills boy who was drafted by Edmonton and who ended his career in Calgary due to concussions.

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#56 Pajamah
March 27 2010, 02:32PM
Trash it!
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trashes
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Not to be THAT guy, but a funny story nonetheless:

When I tried to fight Chris Phillips in Lethbridge camp (he was getting ready to head to Ottawa, so really he had no reason to fight), he just looked at me and said something along the lines of "Don't waste my time, rook". It made me mad at the time, but I LOL at that now.

But when Shaun Sutter (Brian's boy, I think) wouldn't go me (ya, that's right - I tried to fight a Sutter), it pissed me off! That chickensh*t tucked-tail-and-ran all over the ice. I'm only 5-11, so I dunno what his problem was. I'd say he suffered from cowardice.

I also remember with great pride the time Dale Purinton lambasted me into the boards. Good times!

Oh ya... and my buddy's jaw still clicks ever since he fought Eric Godard there, LOLZ. BIG mistake!

That's not like a Sutter not to drop em (or smile)

Scrapping Chris Phillips would make a damn good story, I could see him with that attitude though, he sure hasn't lived up to his draft position though

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