While Teemu Selanne skillfully avoided questions Monday about whether or not he’d be with the Ducks in their season-opening trip to Europe next season, the 40-year old future Hall of Famer was clearly excited about the Ducks playing the Buffalo Sabres October 7 in his hometown of Helsinki, Finland.
“It’s not going to affect my decision, but it will obviously be very interesting,” Selanne said after Monday’s practice. “It’s going to be a crazy experience and it’s a great hockey city, so it should be a lot of fun. I don’t know my whole situation yet but if I’m playing it’s going to be fun. We just don’t know that far.”
While Selanne is noncommittal to playing for the Ducks in Finland next October, he’s hardly the only Finn that dons a Ducks sweater. The team also features Helsinki native Jarko Ruutu as well as Saku Koivu and Toni Lydman, making the Ducks an extremely popular team in the Scandinavian country.
“We were there in (19)94 with Winnipeg and it was a huge deal even then and now we have so many Finns going that it will be even more special,” Selanne said. “The Ducks are the most favorite NHL team for them and if they had votes on who would be the “dream come true” team for them it would be us. So the whole thing is great.”
So great that Selanne will show up to celebrate even if he is not playing. That much he was willing to confirm Monday.
“I will be there,” he said.