Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya forged Hall of Fame relationship while Ducks teammates
TORONTO – Witness the virtual comedy act they have become while preparing for Monday’s official entrance into the Hockey Hall of Fame and the unique connection between Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya is undeniable.
Always has been. The two finish each other sentences like a married couple and playfully trade verbal jabs as if they are brothers playing an endless game of one-up. Memories of one vowing to keep a beloved old car and the other threatening to burn it if he didn’t get a new one.
Even the details of their very first meeting – an awards dinner in this case – are up for debate.
“I remember seeing this little boy there,” Selanne recalled. “And they say he was the Hobey Baker winner (for the top college player) I’m like, ‘Wow.’ This little boy is that good a player. Unbelievable. Paul thinks that I was too big to even say, ‘Hi.’”
Kariya piped up. “It was true. He did not say anything to me,” he said. “He did not talk to me. And there was no communication. I didn’t even consider that a meeting.”
They would meet, all right. Over six brilliant seasons with the Mighty Ducks, the two set each other up for countless goals on a team that needed all of them. Many of those showed off their play-making artistry. In the late 1990s, there may not have been a pair that was more feared when they rushed up the ice.
“I’ll give you an example,” said Jack Ferreira, who drafted Kariya and traded for Selanne as the Ducks’ first general manager. “We played in New York against the Rangers and we beat them like 6-1, 5-1 or something like that. Paul and Teemu each had three or four points.
“After the […]