Paul Kariya always felt as if he knew where Teemu Selanne was on the ice when they had spectacular chemistry together as teammates.
On Monday, Selanne pulled a new trick, telling Kariya where he was going: the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Before Kariya got the call that he was being inducted, Selanne delivered the news that the dynamic duo that thrilled hockey in Anaheim for several years was going to be inducted together this fall.
The longtime Ducks teammates headline the Hall of Fame’s class of 2017, which includes the long-overdue additions of Mark Recchi, Dave Andreychuk and longtime Canadian university coach Clare Drake. Canadian star Danielle Goyette became the fifth women’s player elected, and Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs got in as part of the builder category.
Selanne was the only player elected in his first year of eligibility after putting up 1,457 points in 1,451 games over 21 NHL seasons. The “Finnish Flash” was a 10-time All-Star, had 76 goals as a rookie with Winnipeg in 1992-93 that still stands as one of his 18 NHL records and won the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007.
“When I look back, I shake my head and say how lucky I was in so many different ways and so thankful that I was able to play for so many years,” Selanne said.
He and Kariya played together for parts of six seasons with the Ducks, helping hockey grow in Southern California in the 1990s, and then another with Colorado. Kariya had his career cut short by concussion problems, finishing with 989 points in as many games.
“I didn’t retire willingly,” said Kariya, who won an Olympic gold medal with Canada at the 2002 Olympics. “I would’ve loved to have kept playing. If there was any way of waving a magic wand and getting the opportunity to live through my entire career, the good and the bad, I would do it again in…