Selanne - Playing Career - Return To Anaheim

Return To Anaheim

Selänne rejoined the Mighty Ducks signing a one-year contract on August 22, 2005. With his knee rehabilitated, Selänne led the Ducks in scoring in 2005–06 despite playing without former teammate and scoring counterpart Paul Kariya. Selänne's statistical tally this season registered 40 goals and 50 assists for 90 points in 80 games.

Selänne recorded his 1,000th NHL point on January 30, 2006, with his second goal against the Los Angeles Kings, becoming the 70th player, as well as the seventh European player, to achieve the milestone.

Selänne was back amongst the NHL's elite players after the 2005–06 NHL season, when he was awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which recognizes perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey, designating Selänne as the comeback player of the year.

Selänne received a one-year, $3.75-million contract extension for the 2006–2007 season with the newly renamed Anaheim Ducks, after deciding to continue his NHL career. He also changed his jersey number from No. 13 back to No. 8 for 2006–2007 season, given that in the previous season the 8 jersey was worn by Sandis Ozolinsh.

Selänne scored his 500th NHL career goal against the Colorado Avalanche after getting by former Avalanche teammate and captain Joe Sakic to find the net against Colorado's José Théodore. Selänne joined Jari Kurri as the only Finnish-born players to have scored 500 goals in their NHL careers. On November 26, 2006, in a game against the Calgary Flames, Selänne scored his 600th point as a Duck.

Selänne played in his 1,000th NHL game on December 31, 2006, against the Minnesota Wild. On February 7, 2007, in a game against the San Jose Sharks, Selänne scored his 524th career goal to move into a tie with Bryan Trottier for 27th on the NHL's all-time list. The "Finnish Flash" moved past Trottier with a first period goal against the Coyotes in Phoenix on February 15, 2007, with his father, Ilmari, in attendance (the fathers of 18 Anaheim players and one of the player's father-in-law were at the game as part of a team-building experience).

On January 10, 2007, Selänne heard grave news from a seriously ill friend. "Today he found out that the cancer has spread to his brain," Selänne said. "I don't think he has much time to live. So I told him if I scored a hat trick I'd keep the puck. I told him the odds weren't very good that it would happen. Obviously it was really a sad day today, but what are you going to do? Life is not fair sometimes." The next day against the Dallas Stars, Selänne would indeed achieve a hat trick, the 19th of his career and the first since 2001. Anaheim won the game, 5–1.

Selänne tied the Anaheim franchise record for goals (previously held by Paul Kariya) with his 300th in a Ducks jersey on February 17, 2007, when he flipped a second-period power-play goal past Mathieu Garon in a game against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. One night later, Selänne took sole possession of the franchise record, scoring his 301st goal with Anaheim with a power-play goal at Honda Center in Anaheim in the second consecutive game against the Kings.

With two goals against the Vancouver Canucks on March 11, 2007, Selänne became the first player over the age of 35 to record consecutive 40-goal seasons. The two goals, both on the power-play, moved Selänne into a tie with Hall of Famer Frank Mahovlich on the NHL's all-time goal-scoring list at 533, the 26th highest total in the league's history. Finally, that gave him 107 power-play goals in a Ducks uniform, moving him into a tie for the franchise record with Kariya. Selänne removed his former linemate from the record book with a power-play goal in a victory against the Chicago Blackhawks on March 16, taking over sole possession on the Anaheim franchise record. Selänne's two-goal effort against Chicago also moved him past Mahovlich, for sole possession of 26th place on the NHL's all-time goal-scoring list.

Selänne completed the 2006–2007 NHL regular season with 48 goals (third best in the league) and became the first player in NHL history over the age of 35 to record consecutive seasons with 40-plus goals. He won the Stanley Cup in that 2006-2007 NHL season. He also led the NHL with 25 power-play goals, tying the Anaheim club record that he set in 1998–1999. His 10 game-winning goals tied him for the most in that category this season. He failed, however, to become the oldest player of all time with a 50-goal NHL season (he was 36 that campaign; 35-year-old Johnny Bucyk scored 51 goals for the 1970–71 Boston Bruins).

With an assist on a goal by François Beauchemin in Game 2 of the Ducks opening round playoff series against the Minnesota Wild on April 13, 2007, Selänne picked up his 30th playoff point in an Anaheim jersey – establishing a new franchise record. The Ducks would go on to defeat the Ottawa Senators in 5 games in the Stanley Cup Finals, giving the team and Selänne their first Stanley Cup championship.

Selänne considered retirement after he and the Ducks had won the Stanley cup in 2007. However, he did not announce his retirement, and in December he told a Finnish tabloid Iltalehti that he will announce his decision in January 2008. On January 28, Selänne signed a one-year contract with the Ducks for the remainder of the 2007–08 NHL season. On February 12, he tied Paul Kariya for most points in franchise history after scoring a goal against the Colorado Avalanche. On February 17, he passed Paul Kariya when he scored his 670th point over the Calgary Flames. On February 24, Selänne earned his 20th career hat trick against the Chicago Blackhawks, increasing his career goals total to 546, placing him 25th on the all-time list, bypassing his idol Maurice 'Rocket' Richard. He was named the NHL's "First Star of the Week" for the week ending February 24. The game also gave him his 600th career assist.

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