A featherweight fighter by the name of Willie Pep was quoted as saying the first thing to go is your legs, then it's your reflexes — and then it's your friends.

Somehow, NHLer Teemu Selanne has managed to hold onto all three, well after his 41st birthday.

Where most athletes of Selanne's age and ability are either admiring their new surroundings in some Hall of Fame or other, the Anaheim Ducks speedster just keeps pouring in the points, in this, his 19th NHL season.

Saturday, he returns to Winnipeg, where it all began in 1992, for the first time as a player since the original Jets traded him, four years later.

"It's going to be very, very special day there," Selanne said. "I can't wait."

In some ways it's been a perfect sendoff season for the man dubbed the Finnish Flash when he set rookie records with 76 goals and 132 points.

One of the most popular players in the league, Selanne got a chance to open the season with two games in his native Finland, before making this nostalgic, pre-Christmas stop in the 'Peg, where fans have been frothing at the mouth for a chance to pay him a proper tribute.

"When I got traded I didn't really have a chance to say goodbye for the people and the city," Selanne acknowledged.

If Winnipeg's downtown arena has been loud so far this season, in the words of another of the city's favourite sons: "You ain't seen n-n-n-n-nothin' yet."