Reaching the Finnish Line
Coming out of the 2004-05 lockout, Teemu Selanne returned to Anaheim, where he would play out the final 9 seasons of his career. In his first season back, Selanne scored 40 goals and 90 points in 80 games.
The 2006-07 season would be Selanne’s most productive since 1998-99. Appearing in all 82 games, the Finnish winger scored 48 goals (his highest total in 9 years) and 94 points. He followed this up with 5 goals and 15 points in 21 playoff games as the newly-rechristened Anaheim Ducks captured their first Stanley Cup.
Despite contemplating retirement after the Ducks’ championship, Selanne returned for the 2007-08 season. Unfortunately, he would suffer an injury that held him out of all but 26 games. He did, however, muster 12 goals and 23 points in that time.
His play would see mixed results over the remainder of his career, though he did put up 31 goals and 80 points in 73 games during the 2010-11 season. Around this time, Selanne tried to persuade the Ducks to bring Kariya back. That never materialized due to Kariya’s concussion concerns.
The 2013-14 season, Selanne’s last in the NHL, saw him put up 9 goals and 27 points in 64 games. He finished his career having played in 1451 games and accumulating 684 goals, 773 assists, and 1457 points. His goal total ranks 12th all-time while he sits 16th in all-time points.
Both players were exceptional hockey talents. Selanne had a long and remarkable career and holds several records:
- Most goals by a rookie: 76
- Most points by a rookie: 132
- Most goals by a Finnish-born player: 684
- Most career goals (Anaheim): 457
- Most goals in a season (Anaheim): 52
- Most career assists (Anaheim): 531
- Most career points (Anaheim): 988
- Most points in a season (Anaheim): 109
And no, that’s not everything; not by a long shot.
Kariya, unfortunately, was plagued by injuries, most notably the concussions that ultimately cut his career short. Admirably, Kariya has been a very vocal proponent in raising awareness around the prevalence of concussions with professional hockey players.