When hockey pundits discuss the career of Teemu Selanne, what will they turn to more?
His career as a Winnipeg Jet? Or his career as an Anaheim Duck/Mighty Duck?
That’s a very touchy subject on the hearts of many Jets fans.
Maybe if the team had stayed in Winnipeg and not gone to Phoenix, Selanne would have played his entire career in Winnipeg, aside for escalating salaries in the mid-to-late 1990s.
Maybe he would have been the captain of a Jets team that had reached its full potential with the likes of Keith Tkachuk, Teppo Numminen, and Nikolai Khabibiulin and became a contender.
Alot of maybes there eh?
Thing is, aside from what Jets fans think and know, Selanne will be better known for his play in Anaheim than in Winnipeg.
Sure, his sensational rookie season of 1992-93 will forever be the benchmark for rookies in the NHL and something both the league, Winnipeg fans, and more importantly Teemu will never forget.
But he only played three and a half seasons in Winnipeg.
Yeah, just three and a half seasons.
He was extremely productive – 306 points (147 goals, 159 assists) in 231 games in a Jets uniform – but will he be remembered as a Jet first and foremost? Probably not.
Did he win a Cup in Winnipeg? No.
Did he win a Cup in Anaheim? Yes.
Did he play more than three and a half seasons in Anaheim? Yes – just over 10 seasons and a bit (including his will I/won’t I bit in 2007-08). A successful time in Anaheim, where he has played over half his career – 871 points (410 goals, 461 assists) in 774 games.
But, when the formers tenth overall pick by the Jets in 1988 rolls into Winnipeg on December 17th, there will no doubt be cheers, celebration, and most importantly – a standing ovation – for the Finnish Flash, who for an entire season, made Winnipeg Jets hockey matter before they fled south a few years later.
Despite a stop in San Jose and a brief stop in Colorado, Teemu is a Duck and will forever be known mostly as a Duck.
But, in the hearts of Jets fans, he has, is, and will forever be one of the most famous Jets, alongside Hawerchuk, Hull, Steen, and Tkachuk.