Teemu Selanne’s first phone call after being told he’s a Hockey Hall of Fame inductee was predictable. Friend and former linemate Paul Kariya is headed there, too, and Selanne wanted to be the first to deliver the news. He succeeded, so chairman Lanny McDonald had to leave a voicemail.
Hey, he wasn’t nicknamed the Finnish Flash for nothing.
That Selanne and Kariya will receive hockey’s highest honors along with Dave Andreychuk, Mark Recchi, former women’s player Danielle Goyette, and builders Clare Drake and Jeremy Jacobs at each other’s side is a sort of poetic symmetry that made the occasion special all the more in a unique friendship.
Especially with the contract situation I tried to stay on the ground and not do anything stupid, I would say, he joked Monday on a conference call with reporters.
With his NHL future in question, the 24-year-old thought it prudent to keep all his limbs intact. Now, with a new five-year, $26.5 million deal signed, Niederreiter said he’s ready to take flight again, with high aspirations for what his future holds, and that means possibly more ice time for the Swiss-born winger who is coming off his first 25-goal season in Minnesota.
I feel like I was ready last year, and as a player, you’re always ready to play and get more ice time, Niederreiter explained. At the end of the day that’s the coach’s job, and I can only control what I can control. That’s something which I learned early on in my career that too much thinking is not going to do anything good.