Column: Selanne turns in flashback performance in Sochi
Published: Monday, February 24, 2014
Updated: Monday, February 24, 2014 19:02
The 2014 Winter Olympics concluded with Canada once again reigning over the hockey universe. The Canadians proved themselves to be the top hockey country in the world, as the best team truly did dominate the tournament. However, despite his side not bringing home the gold, one Jofa helmet was the true story of the tournament.
43-year-old Teemu Selanne was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 Olympic Hockey tournament in his sixth and final Olympic appearance.
The Finnish Flash may not be what he once was, as few things have remained the same in the 26 years since Selanne was drafted 10th overall in 1988. However, Selanne gave hockey fans all over the world one last glimpse into the past with his four tournament goals that led the way in Finland’s bronze medal triumph.
Selanne flashed each and every one of us back to the 90’s–the Finnish winger is the ultimate throwback. Every game, Selanne takes the ice in his now famous Jofa helmet, despite the fact that the company hasn’t produced hockey gear since the 2004 Reebok buyout.
As someone raised on hockey and its heroes, there have been few as loved as Selanne. He has been a constant presence on NHL ice for what seems like an eternity. I can’t remember the sport of hockey without Selanne, partly because there hasn’t been one in my lifetime, as Selanne’s NHL debut occurred one month before I was born. He scored 76 goals that season, an NHL record for a rookie.
While most heroes have aged, declined and subsequently retired, Selanne has pushed through. Draft-mates Mike Modano, Jeremy Roenick and Rod Brind’Amour have long since retired. Meanwhile, the Finish Flash has just completed his sixth Olympic run.
His two-goal performance in the bronze medal game left even the most patriotic American a little mushy on the inside. Anyone who has grown up as a fan of the game has come to appreciate Selanne for his skating speed, longevity and passion. It truly was something special.
There may not be much time left to appreciate the Finnish Flash. However, Teemu Selanne’s 2014 Olympic run gave hockey fans all over the world one last chance to watch one of the greatest players of the past three decades.