The number of former San Jose Sharks inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame will stand at five on November 13, after Teemu Selanne was voted into this year’s Hall of Fame class in his first year of eligibility. Selanne will join Igor Larionov, Ed Belfour, Rob Blake, and Sergei Makarov as the former Sharks enshrined in Toronto.
Selanne spent parts of three seasons with the Sharks from 2001-03, after the Sharks traded left wing Jeff Friesen and goaltender Steve Shields to their division rivals, the Anaheim Ducks, to acquire the Finnish right wing in March, 2001. Over that span, he scored 131 points (64 goals, 67 assists) in 176 regular season games. He led the team in goal-scoring during the Sharks’ first-ever Pacific Division title-winning season in 2001-02, and became just third player in franchise history to score 25 or more goals during an otherwise underwhelming 2002-03 campaign (Owen Nolan and Friesen, respectively, accomplished the feat first).
What Selanne is likely best remembered for is his playoff performance in teal, or lack thereof. Selanne scored just 10 points in 18 postseason games in teal., He infamously missed wraparound attempt on an open net in a 1-0 loss in Game 7 of the second round against the Colorado Avalanche, a series in which the Sharks blew a three-games-to-two series lead.
The Sharks missed the playoffs the next season, and Selanne signed a one-year-deal in the 2003 offseason to reunite with former Ducks teammate and fellow 2017 Hall of Famer Paul Kariya in Colorado. Beginning that season, Sharks fans booed and heckled Selanne mercilessly in each of his return appearances in San Jose, just as they did to fellow Hall of Famer and former Shark Ed Belfour after his departure via free agency in 1997. San Jose did what they failed to do with Selanne in 2002, and eliminated the star-studded Avalanche to advance to the Sharks’ first Western Conference Finals appearance in franchise history.
Following the NHL lockout in 2004-05, Selanne returned to the Ducks in 2005-06 and won his first and only Stanley Cup in 2007. He ultimately finished his career there, retiring in 2014. His final postseason appearance in Anaheim came under eerily similar circumstances to his last in San Jose, as the Ducks also blew a three-games-to-two lead before being eliminated in Game 7, this time to the Los Angeles Kings.
Selanne began his career with the Winnipeg Jets in 1992, scoring a record-setting 76 goals as a rookie en route to the Calder Trophy. Winnipeg traded Selanne to Anaheim during the 1995-96 season, where he spent parts of six seasons before his trade to San Jose.
As well as the previously mentioned Kariya, Mark Recchi, Dave Andreychuk, and Canadian legend Danielle Goyette will join Selanne as players inducted this November. Longtime University of Alberta coach Clare Drake plus Boston Bruins owner and lockout architect Jeremy Jacobs will join as builders.