Teemu Selanne looks ahead to his final Olympics

Pre-game quotes from Teemu Selanne following the Ducks morning skate in Anaheim, prior to their game vs. the visiting Chicago Blackhawks…

Was going to the Olympics something you always wanted to do?

“Obviously it was a big thing.  When I was a young boy and watching the Olympics it was something special and a dream for me to be a part of it one day.  I never thought I would have a chance to go to six Olympics.  Especially when I was younger it was a really big thing.  In 1988 when Finland won silver in Calgary, that was a big thing.  But it was different back then because there weren’t any NHL players.  The Olympics is a feeling that you just can’t describe.”

Who were your Olympic heroes in hockey and other sports?

“Mine was Matti Nykanen, the legendary ski jumper and Juha Mieto a cross country skier.   I always looked up to the Russian National Hockey team.  They were machines.  They were impossible to beat.  Then in 1980 when it happened.  It was a miracle.  That was no joke.  It was a miracle.”

Did you ever meet any of the legendary Russian hockey players?

“I played against Krutov, Makarov, Larionov when I played on the national team.  It was a pretty weird feeling because you use to watch them and now to play against them was pretty special.”

Has the decision to allow NHL players in the Olympics been a good one?

“I think it was been good for both the NHL and the Olympics.  I believe for a lot of people the men’s hockey is the main event that people want to watch.  You have the best players there and the competition is unbelievable.”

There has been some talk that this could be the last time NHLers participate in the Olympics.  What are your feelings about that possibility?

“The Olympics will still go on but again, if the best athletes are not there then something will be missing by not having the NHL players. It’s fine if the amateurs go but every time when you have the best athletes competing against each other that’s when you get the true representation of who is really the best.  If you look at the Summer Olympics and men’s basketball.  If the NBA players are not there it’s still a nice tournament but there is a lot missing.”

Many joke about the fact that Finland’s best players are usually goalies, how come you never played goalie?

“That’s a good question.  That’s a tough question (laughs).  There is no answer for that.  The program for the goalies back home is really good.  Kind of a shame that they (goalies) are the best players (laughs).  We are very proud of our goalies.  We still bring a lot of players to the NHL.”

What are your thoughts about instead of shutting down the league for 2 weeks, the idea of moving Olympic hockey to the Summer Olympics?

“I don’t think so.  I think this is a natural way.  It is what it is.  I think the advantages outweigh any disadvantages.”

BONUS: Bruce Boudreau on Selanne playing in his 6th Olympics:

“I played in only seven games for the Chicago Blackhawks (1985-86) and this guy is in his 6th Olympics. It’s a phenomenal feat for him, well deserved. The superlatives are too many to answer. I can’t even fathom it. I would have given my right arm to be in one.”

Recent Articles

Lombardi Dean LA Kings GM

LA Kings Salary Cap Update After Trevor Lewis Signing, Next Steps

Kings GM Dean Lombardi and VP/capologist Jeff Solomon have been working overtime the past week and it’s helped bring some initial clarity to the team’s salary cap situation. After the signing of forward Trevor Lewis to a four-year, $8M deal, here is how things most likely look for the 2016-17 roster (at the moment):
LA Kings […]

Moverare NHL Draft

Scouting Report: RD4, Kings Select Dman Jacob Moverare

With their second selection in the 2016 NHL Draft (112th overall), the Los Angeles Kings have added Swedish defenseman Jacob Moverare, who is just 17-years-old and stands 6-foot-2.
Here is what the International Scouting Service had to say in their annual Draft Guide:
Skill: Good size defenseman that plays simple game. Good stick and body positioning defensively. […]

Clague Draft NHL Kings

Scouting Report: RD2, Kings Select Dman Kale Clague

Despite having only four picks to work with entering Saturday’s second day of the NHL Draft, the Kings opted to use their first selection of the weekend (51st overall) to take WHL defenseman Kale Clague of the Brandon Wheat Kings. He’s a 5-foot-11 blueliner who is said to have great offensive instincts and a big […]

Major News Items

LAK Prospect No 1

LA Kings 2015-16 Prospect Rankings: No. 1 Revealed

We're finally ready to announce the name of which Los Angeles Kings prospect has nabbed the No. 1 spot in our bi-annual rankings of the team's future hopefuls. After working our way through a handful of Honorable … [Read More...]

More Prospect News