Ducks update: Teemu Selanne night in Winnipeg
Normal rules do not apply when it comes to the Ducks' Teemu Selanne.
All night, the sellout crowd at MTS Centre in Winnipeg was fully engaged in all things Selanne. Selanne on Saturday night returned to play a game in Winnipeg for the first time since Feb. 4, 1996. The Jets ended up trading him to the Ducks three days after that game and the NHL vanished from Manitoba at the end of the season.
The NHL came back this season ... and so did Selanne. Some extremely patient fans, about 30 of them, waited outside the Ducks' hotel in Winnipeg until 2:30 a.m. Saturday because the Ducks got there in the wee hours, having played at Chicago on Friday night. Selanne signed autographs and posed for pictures.
Finally, the big event resulted in twin wins for the giddy fans.
Winnipeg defeated the Ducks, 5-3, and Selanne had two assists. From the beginning, Selanne was cheered every time he touched the puck and every other Duck was roundly booed.
Selanne's wife and four children were among the spectators on hand.
"I think it's great they [could] see where I played the first four years of my career," Selanne said, of his children, in a TV interview after the first period. "I was so happy they are old enough to realize and see and experience my life also. My oldest was born here. So it's a very special place for me. And I'm very happy they are here."
The fans were chanting his name before the game. There was a video tribute to him during the first TV timeout in the opening period and Selanne took a curtain call when he came out as the No. 3 star, waving and blowing a kiss to the crowd.
-- Lisa Dillman, reporting from Los Angeles
Photo: Ducks forward Teemu Selanne acknowledges the Winnipeg fans during the Ducks' loss to the Jets on Saturday. Credit: Marianne Helm / Getty Images