He is a legend making his final round through NHL buildings he has electrified for the better part of two decades. Teemu Selanne played what is likely his last NHL game in Pittsburgh last night as his Anaheim Ducks lost 3-1 to the Penguins. In a post-game interview, Selanne told reporters that Penguins rookie defenceman Olli Maatta deserves a spot on the Finnish blueline at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The Finnish Flash (Selanne) admitted that before last night’s game he didn’t know much about his countrymen Maatta, a 19-year-old from Jyvaskyla, Finland. However, upon watching the future star up-close and personal, Selanne shared praiseful words that could go a long way in earning Maatta a spot with the Finnish national team at the upcoming Winter Games.
Selanne told Josh Yohe of Trib Live Sports:
“I’ve never seen this guy. But Tie Domi (former teammate of Selanne’s with the Winnipeg Jets) is a good buddy of mine and tells me about him. It’s a great, great story. It’s not too typical for a Finnish guy to come to the NHL this way. Usually you get drafted and come to the NHL when you’re ready.”
Maatta was obviously thrilled to receive a vote of confidence from Finland’s biggest hockey star since Jari Kurri. He told Josh Yohe of Trib Live:
“That’s awesome that he said that.”
Olli Maatta quote courtesy of Trib Live Sports.