Seven years ago, it seemed that Teemu Selanne was washed up, done like dinner as an NHL star. His signing with the Avalanche, in a one-year, package deal with Paul Kariya, produced disappointing results — and that's putting it nicely.
The man who opened his NHL career with a 76-goal season way back in 1992-93 slumped to 16 goals with Colorado in 2003-04, while a punchless Kariya appeared disinterested when he wasn't hurt. Both were gone the next season, after the lockout year.
Yet here was Selanne at the Honda Center on Monday, racking up a five-point night with a hat trick — his 26th, 27th and 28th goals of the season — and two assists in a 5-4 victory over the Avalanche. Yes, even at age 41, "The Finnish Flash" still looks very much as if he still belongs in the league . . . both this season and, if he so chooses, beyond.
The Avalanche took a 2-0 lead on goals from Ryan O'Reilly and Matt Duchene, whose combined ages total 40, before the Ducks woke up. Selanne's first goal came on a penalty shot on Brian Elliott at 47 seconds of the second period, and he added another 8:14 later on a wicked shot from the right-wing circle. Ultimately, the Ducks broke a 3-3 tie on Cam Fowler's power-play goal at 2:49 of the third period and went on to a win that gave the Ducks a sweep of the four-game season series against Colorado.
Selanne's play wasn't at all reminiscent of what he looked like in an aberrational season in an Avs uniform.
"It was a tough year in many ways," Selanne said. "The biggest (issue), of course, was my knee. I couldn't really play at my level. Other stuff happened that year too. We had an unbelievable group of guys, a good team, so it was disappointing.
Former Av Selanne's hat trick lifts Ducks past Colorado
Denver Post | Mar 29