Just minutes earlier, his dark but bright eyes dancing, he had been explaining his love, his absolute passion for speed and cars.
How, at age 18, after he signed his first big contract — for $18,000 — he took out a loan for the same amount and bought his dream, a '61 Lincoln Continental. Convertible. With suicide doors.
And then how, a couple weeks later, he had to borrow another $2,000 from Mom and Dad when he realized he was out of money.
Teemu Selanne had been talking about his stable of horsepower back home, those 10 cars quietly waiting for him in Finland, each one built to be driven, driven faster than the last.
He also had been discussing the 11 cars he owns here, a revelation that prompted the following question: Where does a man keep 11 cars?
"Oh," Selanne said, "I have a 12-car garage."
But now, he was in the mostly empty parking lot of Honda Center. The Ducks had just concluded practice. Selanne had his hands — positioned perfectly at 10 and 2 — on a red Ferrari, someone else's red Ferrari. The dark sunglasses contrasted with his light grin.
He thrust his right foot to the floor, screeching the tires and shaking the earth beneath them. The alarm in someone's Nissan went off. Selanne spun the car a few times, the smell of concrete vaporizing rubber suddenly everywhere.
He pulled up next to Ryan Getzlaf, who was standing nearby watching. Selanne smiled. Without saying a word, he turned the Ferrari over to his teammate.
"Whose car is that anyway?" Selanne was asked.
"It's gonna be mine pretty soon," he said, smiling again. And why not? There's room for one more in his garage, right?
Room for one more. Just one more. That's all we ask, Teemu. You've given us everything already, but can you give us one more?
Here it is, the end of another hockey season, and everyone around here is wondering the same thing. For the fifth spring in a row.
Is the greatest Duck ever done?
The teammates who have spent nearly every day with Selanne the past seven months? They have no clue.
The coach who, in a different era, was Selanne's teammate and now has been his boss for six years? He doesn't know.
Ducks' fans plea: Teemu, please, just one more year
Orange County Register | May 12