Teemu Selanne's press conference on Monday teased fans who expected an announcement that he will continue his career in the KHL. Instead, he announced plans for a multi-sport complex and hockey academy that will bear his name.
In terms of hype-to-disappointment ratio it wasn't quite on par with the opening of Al Capone's vault, but Teemu Selanne's press conference on Monday morning in Helsinki left hockey fans feeling equally empty.
Instead of announcing that he was signing on for one final season in the KHL, Selanne was on hand to reveal plans to build a multi-sport complex and create a hockey academy that will bear his name.
“We have goalie schools all over the world, especially in Finland,” Selanne said, according to Finnish journalist Juha Hiitela. “But not goal-scoring schools. That's what I want to do. We want to cooperate with federations and junior clubs. They could send their forwards here to learn. We want the the best young players whose goal is [to play] in the NHL. From Finland, but also from Sweden, Russia. And why not from North America?”
Selanne also said that the Rotenberg family, owners of Helsinki's Hartwall Arena and the legendary Jokerit franchise, have asked him and his wife to be involved in the design of the hockey facilities. “I've spent my entire life in hockey rinks,” Selanne said, “and I know what a perfect arena is.”
And while he wouldn't directly address a possible continuation of his Hall of Fame career, Selanne did offer some hope that another announcement may be forthcoming.
“If I had to decide about my career a week ago, I'd say [it] is over," he said. "My NHL career is definitely over. But I don't need to say my career is over. There's no need to say anything else. I've learned to never say never.
“I can figure out if I still want to play or not. I don't need to decide right now. The idea of playing for Jokerit is tempting ... but right now I'd say I'm not going to play."