Why was Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne smiling Wednesday?
He knew it was the last time he’d ever have to go through hockey players’ least-favorite day -- preseason fitness testing -- because he recently announced that he will retire after the coming NHL season, his 21st.
“Exactly!” he said after completing his appointed tests at the Honda Center. “Honestly, this is the day you start the whole new year. It’s one of those days you don’t want to do very often.”
Selanne, 43, will face a lot of “lasts” in the coming months, including final visits to many arenas and final games against various teams. He claims he’s not sentimental but said he’s glad he went ahead and declared this will be his final season instead of leaving it up in the air, as he has the past few years.
“I’m way more relieved than before, because I can enjoy every day,” he said. “It was a good decision to just say it right away and just take advantage of every day and enjoy. You know, it’s a good thing.
“It’s going to be fun to know this is the last time as a hockey player in this building or in this city. I’m looking forward to that. I think it’s going to be fun. I still try to enjoy every day even more because you know it’s going to be the last one.”
Selanne said he isn’t planning a farewell tour like New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera has been conducting, and he said he’s not expecting any parting gifts. But there is one item he could use.
“New golf clubs because I threw my old ones in the pond,” he said, referring to his antics in the humorous video he scripted and performed to announce he’d return for one last season.