His NHL career over, legendary Finnish sniper Teemu Selanne was reportedly considering returning to his youth club: Jokerit Helsinki. Now, he apparently has 10 million reasons to consider it even harder.
Reports surfaced on Thursday that the club has offered the 44-year-old Selanne a one-year deal, and the offer from Jokerit is no joke. They are willing to pay the forward $10 million to return to Europe, and are willing to pay him $5 million just to play home games in his native Helsinki.
If he takes the full deal, Selanne would make more next season than he did in any single campaign during his illustrious NHL career. According to Cap Geek, the most Selanne ever made in a single NHL season was $9.5 million in 2001-2002. Last season, Selanne’s contract was valued at $2 million.
With 1,457 points in 1,457 career games, Selanne ranks 15th on the NHL’s all-time scoring list. His 684 goals rank 11th. Last season for the Anaheim Ducks, Selanne had nine goals and 27 points in 64 games. He fared slightly better in the playoffs, scoring six points in 12 games.
The Ducks are set to retire Selanne’s number eight jersey on Jan. 11 next season, in a game against the Winnipeg Jets. If Selanne does decided to sign with Jokerit, it could complicate the plans for the ceremony, as they are scheduled to take on CSKA Moscow that day. Selanne spent parts of 15 seasons with the Ducks, coming over in a trade with the Jets in the middle of the 1995-1996 season. He was traded to the San Jose Sharks in 2001, and also spent a season with the Colorado Avalanche before returning to the Ducks in 2005. He won his only Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007.
Selanne stared for Jokerit prior to joining the Jets in 1992, capturing the golden helmet as the league’s top player in 1991, and winning the league championship in 1992.. The “Finnish Flash” returned to the club during the 1994 lockout, scoring 19 points in 20 games. When he played for Jokerit, they competed in the Finnish SM-Liiga. Next season, they will move to the Russia-based KHL.
Selanne is also the most accomplished player internationally in Finland’s history. He was named the MVP of the 2014 Olympics, guiding Finland to the bronze medal. He is the leading scorer in Olympic history with 43 points in 37 games, and has captured four medals (a silver and three bronze). He was also the MVP of the World Championships in 1999, guiding Finland to silver. He won bronze in the same competition in 2008.