Monday, October 07, 2013

Manitoba bids a fond farewell to the Finnish Flash

When the Winnipeg Jets made their triumphant return to the NHL and the Manitoba capital, the only thing missing from the fairy tale reunion was the addition of Teemu Selanne to the Jets line up for one final year of skating in Blue.

Alas, some stories don't quite end the way the fans might like and Selanne remained with the Anaheim Ducks, his long skate of farewell stretching into one more year, with the talented and popular Finn making his final circuits around the league this season.

The high point has come just one week into Selanne's final season, a much anticipated return to the city where he gained his NHL start and captured the imagination of not only Manitobans but hockey fans around the globe.

The Ducks arrived in Winnipeg over the weekend, with all of the attention devoted to Selanne, as it should be, considering what he has meant to Manitoba's hockey fans before their sudden departure from the NHL and now that they're back in the fold, the chance to say goodbye was not going to just slip by unheralded.

And while they no doubt might have preferred that the hometown side had persevered and held onto the two points that Anaheim took away on the night, even a home town loss couldn't have an impact on all of that goodwill directed to Selanne.

Mindful of his final appearance in the town that once was his, Selanne was selected the first star of the night, perhaps not based on the play of sixty minutes, but rather on the play of over 20 years, many of them on the frozen floor of the old Winnipeg Arena.

Jets fans saluted him two years ago with their return to the league and now that Selanne's is in the home stretch of his NHL career, they saluted him one final time.

One last skate, one last bow, the Finnish Flash has left the building, the cheers of Winnipeg's ever wise hockey fans sending him off on the farewell tour in fine style.

There are a few more stops on the Finnish farewell tour before the skates are hung up for good, though one imagines that it will be hard to top the salute of Sunday night over the course of the rest of Selanne's games with Anaheim this season.

Some of the reviews of Teemu's return can be found below.

Winnipeg Free Press-- Ducks shell Jets with shots for 3-2
Winnipeg Free Press-- 'It's fun to be here': Selanne
Winnipeg Free Press-- Venerable Flash needs his rest
Winnipeg Free Press-- Selanne cheered, Perry scores winner as Ducks outlast Jets in Winnipeg
Winnipeg Sun-- Winnipeg is still Teemu Selanne's town
Winnipeg Sun-- Jets vs Ducks
Winnipeg Sun-- Selanne's top 5 moments
Winnipeg Sun-- Selanne's latest farewell tour stops in Winnipeg
National Post-- Teemu Selanne makes triumphant final stop in Winnipeg as Anaheim Ducks defeat Jets
CBC Manitoba-- Teemu Selanne greets Jets fans in Winnipeg
CBC Manitoba-- Final Farewell: Selanne excited to play last game in Winnipeg
CTV Winnipeg-- Fans welcome Selanne during final regular season visit Teemu Selanne returns to Winnipeg, where it all started
Globe and Mail-- Selanne cheered in final regular season game in Winnipeg, Ducks beat Jets

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