NHL: Teemu Selanne Will Fly Again in Winnipeg, but with a Different Flock

Matt Eichel@@mattyalloutSenior Writer ISeptember 16, 2011

Teemu Selanne will visit Winnipeg - possibly for the last time as a player - on December 17th.
Teemu Selanne will visit Winnipeg - possibly for the last time as a player - on December 17th.Glenn Cratty/Getty Images

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?

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 Khabibulin and became a contender.

There are a lot of questions?

The issue is that 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 to perform at. The league, Winnipeg fans and more importantly Selanne will never forget.

But he only played three and a half seasons in Winnipeg.

He was extremely productive with 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.

The main reason for this is that he did not win a Stanley Cup in Winnipeg but he did in Anaheim.

Also he played more than three and a half seasons in Anaheim? In fact he played just over 10 seasons with the Ducks. He had a successful time in Anaheim, where he has played over half of his career and tallied 871 points (410 goals, 461 assists) in 774 games.

But, when the former 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 the Winnipeg Jets hockey team matter before they fled south a few years later.

Despite a stop in San Jose and a brief stop in Colorado, Selanne is a Duck and will forever be known mostly as a Duck.

But, in the hearts of Winnipeg Jets fans he has, and will forever be one of the most famous Jets players in franchise history.