Teemu Selanne blew away the NHL with his breakaway speed from the moment he jumped into the league, captivating it with his goal-scoring touch and magnetic personality. Those parts of a multifaceted lover of fast cars and uptempo hockey instantly made him a fan favorite.
He didn’t get the nickname “The Finnish Flash” for nothing. A sensational rookie with the original Winnipeg Jets, Selanne settled in as the gregarious face of the Ducks through his first lengthy turn when they were a not-so-mighty team and a second one when they because the mightiest of them all.
Fourteen memorable years over those stints made Selanne a franchise icon. Numerous records broken and multiple awards bestowed made him a legend, but it was his many Olympic medals earned and a cherished Stanley Cup won that made him a champion.
All of it will now have him in the Hockey Hall of Fame, and he will be joined there by former teammate Paul Kariya.
Selanne and Kariya were nominated Monday by the Hall of Fame selection committee. They will be inducted in a ceremony on Nov. 13 in Toronto.
There was little, if any doubt, that the player whose No. 8 jersey is the first and only one retired by the Ducks would forever take his place among the all-time greats. Selanne’s long list of individual accomplishments was worthy on its own.
His otherworldly 76-goal rookie season with the Jets may remain the NHL standard by a first-year player. The obvious Calder Trophy winner that season, Selanne either tied or led the league in goals three times and, in 1999, became the first Maurice Richard Trophy winner to honor the top goal scorer.
Selanne’s 684 goals are 11th on the all-time list. Only Dave Andreychuk and Brett Hull have scored more times on the power play than the winger’s 255. More importantly, Selanne had 110 game-winning scores that tie him with Hull for third-most in league history.
Four times selected as a first- or second-team NHL all-star right wing, Selanne also made 10 All-Star…