Teemu Selanne, the Olympics’ all-time leading points scorer, had his Finland national team No. 8 jersey retired in a ceremony at the World Junior Championships in Helsinki on Wednesday.
Selanne, who earned four medals (none gold) across a record-tying six Olympic hockey tournaments, scored 43 points in his Winter Games career.
He was named Sochi 2014 tournament MVP, scoring twice in Finland’s 5-0 win over the U.S. in the bronze-medal game.
On Wednesday, Selanne skated a lap on the World Juniors arena ice in his Finland uniform while the “Back to the Future” theme played. A banner was raised to the rafters. The phrase “Sel8nne Forever” flashed on the ice.
“We thought about a few options and this felt like it was my kind of thing,” Selanne said, according to NHL.com. “This hasn’t been done so often. It felt right.”
He retired from international and NHL play in 2014 at age 43, and his No. 8 jersey was also retired by the Anaheim Ducks in January.
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The United States and Finland are just coming off losses to big rivals, missing out on a chance at the gold-medal game in men’s ice hockey. They won’t have much time to lick their wounds, as they face each other for a spot on the podium on Saturday.
MEN’S HOCKEY – Bronze medal game
United States vs. Finland: 10 a.m. ET (NBCSN) – CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Both teams enjoyed their moments of offensive explosiveness in this tournament, yet when they met elite goalies in Sweden’s Henrik Lundqvist and Canada’s Carey Price, they hit a brick wall. Canada blanked the United States 1-0 while the Swedes locked down the Finns 2-1 in Friday semifinal games.
Whether it’s Kari Lehtonen or Tuukka Rask, Finland’s expected to have a strong goalie in net. In the case of Saturday, Rask appears healthy enough to play. The U.S. enjoyed some fantastic goaltending from Jonathan Quick in this tournament, so it’s quite possible that this could be another tight game.
Again, though, these two teams have also shown the ability to break things wide open … so we’ll just have to see. Phil Kessel has been a standout for the U.S. while Teemu Selanne is likely entering his final international game to wrap up his sixth Olympics.
The U.S. is going for its second bronze medal and 12th Olympic men’s hockey medal overall. Finland is shooting for a fourth bronze, which would give them six.