Teemu Selanne jersey retirement to test Jets' patience

FILE - This April 13, 2014 file photo shows Anaheim Ducks' Teemu Selanne, of Finland, who plans to retire after the season, acknowledging the fans as he is honored after an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong,File)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Ducks legend Teemu Selanne set a few major, league records in his NHL career – NHL goals by a rookie, goals by a Finnish born player, and a boatload of Anaheim (Mighty) Ducks marks.

He may set a new one Sunday, for the longest jersey retirement ceremony in NHL history.

We're supposed to be in our seats at 4:30 p.m. at Anaheim’s Honda Center for the start of the celebration. Sunday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets is supposed to start at 6 p.m. That’s a lot of Teemu. It could rival Mark Messier’s absurdly long New York Rangers grandiose, over-the-top opus in 2006. This YouTube lists his 2006 moment as an hour and 15 minutes and 47 seconds. Watch at your own risk.

I hope they give Teemu a Maserati, just because Teemu loves cars, and it would be soooo Southern California.

But what of the Jets, Sunday’s Ducks opponent? What are they going to do while Teemupalooza rages for an hour and a half?

“There’s some funny line in there about staying warm and coming from Winnipeg. It’s tropical down here for us,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. “We’re still deciding on how we partake in that ceremony. Anaheim has been good about it. It could be close to an hour and a half long. I think they’re showing every second shift he played,”

It’s kind of an odd night for the Thrasher/Jets. The connection is a little weird. Selanne started his career with the old Winnipeg Jets (who are now the Arizona Coyotes and once the Phoenix Coyotes). He has no relationship with this organization, other than the fact that it’s from Winnipeg. Last I checked, Selanne never played for the Atlanta Thrashers, tbe original location/franchise of these Jets.

But there’s a reason why this party is happening with the Jets in town – it’s because the city of Winnipeg still cares about Teemu supposedly. Also, there’s no intention to have the celebration with the San Jose Sharks or the Colorado Avalanche (remember when Teemu played for them?) play the Ducks. Winnipeg is the one team that makes sense.

And the Jets will have to deal with a long, long wait for the opening face off, for a game that’s actually pretty important for them – since the Jets have been on the playoff bubble all year, which is actually kind of a big deal.

“There’s nights where a good player for that franchise is being celebrated, I’m not sure the other team has to be a part of that,” Maurice said. “At the same time this is an unusually long one. So we’re going to make a decision how to participate in it, or at all, and we will do that by checking with a lot of people. Anaheim, what Teemu Selanne wants and expects from us.”

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!


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