Since everything Paul and Teemu said about each other is absolute gold (as is everything anyone else has ever said about them), here are the extended versions of the quotes featured on tumblr here, assembled with @subbaned!

Even this monster is sometimes only a selection so if there's a link, there might be even more - especially content about only one of them.
Order is chronological by publication date.


At 21, Kariya has achieved the star status he craved, but he is finding the off-ice adulation more uncomfortable than he imagined.

Some fans have complained to the team about what they perceive as Kariya's "attitude," even writing letters to complain. (Though he can't be too unpopular because he received 260,327 All-Star votes, third among Western Conference wingers.)

Those who forgive him call him shy. Those who don't call him worse. Even his agent, Don Baizley, has noticed Kariya in a crowd, his face turning "glacial."

"I think Paul's got some boundaries," Baizley said. "He'll sort it out as he continues to make adjustments. He has responsibilities to the game and the team as well as himself.

"Some of this is all too new. Paul's sort of figuring out where the reasonable boundaries are. He's a private guy. . . . Maybe as Paul becomes more comfortable and more used to it it will change. For the time [being] he's being cautious."

Guy Hebert, Oleg Tverdovsky, Todd Ewen, Bobby Dollas, Randy Ladouceur and Robert Dirk are among the Ducks that fans say are especially friendly. But Hebert is the only one who receives anything close to the kind of attention Kariya gets.

"For someone like Paul, it's overwhelming," Hebert said.

Kariya hopes the demand will diminish with time. "Maybe it'll die off after the team's been here awhile," he said. "Some of it I think is the popularity of the Disney merchandise.

"But no matter what I do, I'll never please everybody. I don't lose any sleep."
Los Angeles Times, Jan 18, 1996

By adding Selanne's scoring prowess, the deal bolstered an offense that was third-worst in the Western Conference. "Paul (Kariya) had a lot of pressure on him. He was our only gunner and he did a heckuva job carrying that load on his shoulders," center Steve Rucchin said. "He singlehandedly won some games for us this year, but it's tough for any guy in his second year in the NHL. Now that we have Teemu, there's no way everybody can just key on Paul."
New York Daily News, Feb 12, 1996
 
"His personality was so outgoing, so down to earth," Kariya said. "He seemed like a kid in a man's body, and he didn't seem to be affected by everything that was going on around us. It was almost shocking, for a guy of his stature to be like that."

A year later, that respect has only grown.

"You don't really know how good players are unless you play with them," Kariya said. "I mean actually play on a line with him so you see the little things he can do. Even if you're on the same team, watching at ice level, you don't really appreciate him unless you're out there seeing his passes."

Kariya is the Ducks' most valuable player--as their 1-10-2 record when he is injured attests--but Selanne has been their metronome, game after game.

Since he joined the Ducks, he has missed only one game, for the birth of his son, and has 92 points in 72 games. Only nine times this season has he been held without a point, and three of those games were in a four-day stretch in October when Kariya was injured.

"He's playing really consistent hockey, no ups and downs. That's a good sign," said teammate Jari Kurri, who has struggled offensively. "When you can keep it level, night after night, that's very important. I think his confidence level is really high. He's playing with Paul and that helps a lot.

"They're in good shape, and they're mentally fresh. I know February and the end of January can be tough. You've played 50 or 60 games, and you have to find a way to keep it going. I think they'll find a way."

For the Ducks, whose top goal-scorers on the three other lines have no more than eight goals, Selanne's steadiness has been crucial.

"We don't have a lot of depth in scoring," Wilson said. "But he's been like that throughout his career. Very consistent. Those players always get opportunities every game. It shows you how good he is, that if he gets two opportunities he makes good on one.
Los Angeles Times, Jan 17, 1997
 
Back with a vengeance: 'Out of condition' Paul Kariya ended his 32-game contract holdout by scoring two goals and assisting on two others. The only question is: Who is happier with his return, Kariya or his linemate Teemu Selanne?

While it might have appeared that Selanne was the happiest about Kariya's return, Kariya said, "No, I think I was. But he was a close (second).

"I realized what I missed when I was out, especially being part of the team and being one of the guys. After practice, talking and bugging each other. I was on my own for three or four months. That was tough. It's really nice to get back to being part of our team."
Hamilton Spectator, December 15, 1997


"When we saw him in the locker room, there wasn't really a need for words; we just had a team hug. This is the greatest Christmas present ever."
- Anaheim's Teemu Selanne on the return of teammate Paul Kariya. Selanne teamed with Kariya last season as one of the NHL's highest-scoring duos. Kariya's 32-game absence made Selanne a lone target for defenders.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Missouri), December 13, 1997


Selanne has been a good role model for Kariya. They met at the 1996 All-Star Game, and since Selanne's arrival a month later, they've jelled as a scoring threat and friends.

"They push each other," Baizley says. "They both have a tremendous ethic for excellence. If either one of them is a little down, the other one can quickly pick them up."

The two kept in touch every other day during Kariya's contract stalemate. Their friendship, despite different personalities, proves opposites attract.

"I think our agent always said if I could loosen up and Teemu could tighten up, we'd be perfect players," Kariya says, laughing.
Selanne has helped Kariya relax and deal with the off-ice pressures of stardom. And Selanne is showing more leadership. He spoke out recently against the team's poor play after a loss. The next game, he scored twice in a 5-1 win.

"He was saying what a lot of people wanted to say, that we've got to raise our game to a different level," Page says. "He certainly pushed everybody, and he certainly found a way to push himself."
Selanne should have a slight advantage in Nagano, having dealt with jet lag when he went to Japan in October for Anaheim's season opener.

"People were so friendly, and it was amazing how much hockey they knew," he says. "I'm really excited to go back."
But in doing so, he could find himself playing against Canadian Kariya in a medal game.

"Hopefully, I won't pass to him," Selanne says, laughing.
USA TODAY, January 16, 1998


Step away from the ice, away from the crowds, the skates, sticks and pucks and you will find two very different people. The only thing Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya of the Mighty Ducks have in common is an uncommon grace in an often brutal game.

"Teemu is so easygoing," said Colorado Avalanche winger Warren Rychel, a former Duck. "Paul is so focused, you can't talk to him sometimes.

"But when they get on the ice, it's like magic."

Statistics did not create this bond and do not sustain it. Friendship forged the pairing. Fact is, Kariya raved so much about Selanne after meeting him at the 1996 All-Star game, then-general manager Jack Ferreira decided to trade for him. Ferreira bamboozled the Winnipeg Jets, persuading them to give up Selanne for Oleg Tverdovsky and Chad Kilger on Feb. 7, 1996.

"It's not only the way they play the game and the goals they score, but it's the way they're such professionals," Gauthier said when asked about the impact Selanne and Kariya have had on the Ducks.

"I've seen clubs where the top two guys try to steal the limelight from each other. But these guys really work together."

Perhaps it's their differences that bring out the best in each other.

"They are polar opposites in how they approach the game," goaltender Guy Hebert said. "Paul's determination and focus have had an impact on Teemu. You saw it in how Teemu held the team together last season. Teemu certainly has gotten Paul to lighten up. Both feed off each other. It's a great two-way street."

Selanne is gregarious, a fan of auto racing, soccer, tennis, and being a Finn, a lover of saunas. Kariya is reserved, a fan of Mafia movies, and being a Canadian, a lover of hockey.

"Teemu is a people person; Paul likes to maintain a quiet personal life," said Kariya's sister, Michiko.

Selanne, 28, spent the summer in Finland, playing tennis and squash because, as he said, "I have to play games. I'm not the kind of guy who rides a [stationary] bike 50 minutes, then lifts weights for one hour. I like games. I like to win."

He went to a Formula One race in England, then attended the World Cup soccer final in Paris.

He also chatted at least once a week with Kariya. Heaven knows, there was plenty of news heating up the phone lines between Orange County and Europe this summer. The coaching staff was fired, Gauthier was hired, Ferreira was given a new job as director of hockey operations and Craig Hartsburg was hired as the new coach.

"He tried to explain to me what's going on," Selanne said of Kariya. "Sometimes he didn't know. Or couldn't explain it."
Los Angeles Times, Oct 8, 1998
 
And so a sports team aligned with ''the happiest place on Earth'' has been blessed by one of the happiest athletes on Earth. ''He's right up there,'' says teammate Paul Kariya, shaking his head.

Teemu Selanne is the hottest player on the National Hockey League's hottest club. Heading into last night's action, he was fourth in the league socring race with 34 goals and 45 assists. He recently reached his 300th goal faster than all but five players in NHL history.

He could be moody, aloof, careful, protective, all the things that today's great athletes use as shields. Yet he smiles. All the time, he smiles. ''Every day, Teemu finds something to be happy about,'' Kariya says.

And he recognizes you. All of you. Pass him in a hallway or the mall or in the parking lot, catch his eye, and he will either say hello or nod. He seemingly knows no strangers. He seemingly has no enemies. ''In every town on the road, he has good friends,'' teammate Marty McInnis says. ''I mean, every town.''

Everyone raves about the Ducks' scoring combination of Selanne and Kariya. A combination more rare - and nearly as important to the team - is Selanne's ability and his personality. ''That is unique,'' coach Craig Hartsburg says. ''To be such a good guy while playing at such a high skill level . . . that's rare.''

Bodyguards? When Selanne was a Winnipeg rookie fresh from Finland in 1992, he refused to even use translators. He stumbled through interview after interview, enduring laughs about his broken English, particularly the time he told everyone he was going ''shopping for funerals. '' Today, he is one of the best and most willing talkers of any athlete in town. ''The only way I was going to learn the language was to keep talking, '' he says. ''Everybody makes mistakes.''

Charge for autographs? Selanne might be the only athlete around here who solicits them. One Ducks official remembers walking with him through a hallway at Nassau Veterans' Memorial Coliseum on Long Island when they spotted two young boys nervously eyeing the star. Selanne stopped suddenly and asked a question they were afraid to ask: ''You want my autograph?''

When signing for dozens of fans in a roped- off area on the road, he does a similar thing, calling for young fans in the back to be moved to the front. ''People complain about autographs . . . that's the easiest thing a professional athlete does,'' Selanne says. ''How hard is signing a piece of paper?''

Even for the 30 or so fans who gather around his distinctive black Dodge Viper after practices? ''Two minutes,'' he says. ''I can sign for that many in two minutes.''

Then there are special appearances. When the Ducks take a bus to a local hospital for a team visit, they save a seat in one of their accompanying official cars. That's because Selanne inevitably stays about an hour later than anyone else, misses the bus, and needs a ride home.

You're sick, and you've made a wish to meet Paul Kariya? Well, uh, sorry, but this deal only comes two-for-one. Seemingly every time Kariya is ushered into a back room to meet an ailing fan, Selanne follows him there.

''I've always had a special relationship with the people,'' he says. ''They are so good with me. I want to be good with them.''

And for what? He has no local endorsements. He has not been asked to appear in any commercials. In an age when some athletes get as rich off their personalities as their play, Teemu Selanne is being nice for nothing. He's being nice because, well, that's just him.

''Not a phony bone in his body,'' says Mike Smith, former general manager of the former Winnipeg Jets.

Take the common hockey question about fighting. Selanne proudly says he is 2-0 in fights in his seven-year career. But when asked who he's defeated, he's not telling.

''One of the fights was in the fifth game of my rookie year, and it would embarrass the guy if everybody read that a rookie beat him,'' he says.

Don't judge an athlete by what he does off the playing surface? Selanne has a different philosophy. ''Just because you are a good athlete doesn't mean you don't also have to be a good person,'' he says.

And just because you have a bad game, or month, or season, he says, doesn't make it right to take out your anger at referees, teammates or fans.

''When you get sad, it just makes everything worse,'' he says. ''Why not try to make the best of everything you have?''

So while every athlete on the Disney teams receives a free pass to the park . . . Selanne may be the only one who has used his more than 20 times. He is certainly the only one who has, in his possession, four photos of him with Mickey Mouse.

''I like Disneyland because everybody there is happy,'' says the father of two toddlers. ''Even when I don't want to go, I go, because I know that once I am there, I will be happy.''

Teemu Selanne might also become the league's first leading scorer who was once a . . . kindergarten teacher?

Believe it. While beginning his professional career in Finland, he taught kindergarten four hours a day to help make ends meet. ''I love it because kids are so honest, so happy,'' he says.

Then kids grow up. And some of them become professional athletes.

And sometimes they forget that they are still part of the human race, still one of us.

And sometimes, they don't.
The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec), March 4, 1999


Kariya is a huge fan of the "Star Wars" trilogy and is looking forward to the next installment, due in theaters in May. He also enjoys gangster films, particularly "The Godfather" series and "Goodfellas."

But he's eagerly awaiting the fourth "Star Wars" movie.

"It's got great actors in it," Kariya said of "Episode One: the Phantom Menace."

"I've seen the first trailer for it. There's another one out now, a longer one. Rob [Scichili, the Duck media relations director] has it downloaded on his computer. But I haven't seen it yet.

"I like the idea of 'The Force.' It's intriguing. I used to try to move objects like that when I was younger."
Los Angeles Times, March 29, 1999
 
The "Finnish Flash" is the perfect nickname for Teemu Selanne, a blur on and off the ice.

So far, Selanne's life adventures include teaching kindergarten, serving as a patrol point man with Finland's army, collecting antique cars, driving race cars, being a devoted family man, and performing countless hours of charity work.

The right wing for the playoff-bound Anaheim Mighty Ducks also has been able squeeze in enough time to score more goals than any other player in the NHL the past seven years.

"Teemu gets as mad as anyone else when we lose, but I think he forgets it quickly," said linemate Paul Kariya, who along with Selanne gives the Mighty Ducks one of the NHL's highest-scoring duos.

"Teemu keeps everybody on an even keel. When things are going poorly, he's upbeat and he keeps everybody loose. When things are going well, he's the same, so we always know what to expect from him. Guys get down, but he's there picking us up."

"Finding a way to handle 20 kids was a challenge," he said, recalling his three years of teaching kindergarten in his homeland. "I just made sure everybody was happy and playing games. I had fun. It was only for four hours a day."

Selanne grinned and added, "Eight would have been too much."

He played hockey in the evenings while he was teaching, and also managed to play during his rigorous, 11-month tour of army duty.

"I really stayed in good shape," he said. "I woke up at 6, was with the army until 3, then played hockey at night. It was a long day, but I was OK."

"He's probably the best pure goal scorer in the league," Kariya said.

Said Hartsburg: "Teemu's such a gifted player, has great speed, great hands, and a great demeanor. He also has great hockey sense, which is something you can't teach."

Selanne said, "I think I like to take advantage of the speed, and try to be in the right place at the right time. It's really a pleasure to play with Paul; he makes me much more effective."

Although easygoing, Selanne can be tough on himself at times.

"The biggest thing it that I really want to play well all the time and sometimes that doesn't happen," he said. "I respect the guys who play for a long time and stay just as hungry."

Selanne feels his life off-the-ice, including spending as much time as possible with his wife, Sirpa, and their two young sons, keeps him fresh for his sport.

"I never have been a guy who thinks about hockey all the time. I get my mind out of hockey, don't take my work home with me," he said.

His active life provides him with many rewards, he said, including the summers when he's home in Finland and sees the children he used to teach.

"When I go back, parents come up to me and tell me that I started their children liking sports, even the girls, too," he said. "I like that."
Slam! Hockey, April 19, 1999
 
Kariya arrived in Anaheim as "a big pick on a team of rejects," said goaltender Guy Hebert. "We basically were all rejects from other teams."

Kariya, however, was the fourth player taken in the 1993 draft. He was the first freshman to win the Hobey Baker Award, hockey's version of the Heisman Trophy. He led the University of Maine to an NCAA championship. He helped lead Team Canada to a silver medal in the 1994 Winter Olympics.

Some were even comparing him to the greatest player of them all, Gretzky.

Though his $2.1 million salary was more than double that of any of his teammates, he just wanted to fit in. He bought a modest black Acura Integra. He lived with a local family, where he didn't even want his own phone. And he kept his mouth shut.

"I was really quiet and very reserved," Kariya said. "I didn't want to say anything out of the ordinary or offend anyone. I definitely planned that. I wanted to talk with my performance and not what I was saying in the papers."

But he couldn't blend into the woodwork.

When fans and professional autograph hounds, armed with pucks, pictures and hockey cards, would wait for him by the tunnel at Arrowhead Pond after games, he would sneak out a back exit or catch a ride home with a teammate and pick up his car later.

When journalists, TV crews and radio broadcasters would wait by his locker, he would try to make himself invisible to them by walking through the locker room with his head down or by working incessantly on his sticks. When he did speak, he would say little and fidget until he could escape again.

Fans complained of his attitude in phone calls and letters. Reporters wrote about his swelled head. To many, Cherry had it right. This Kariya kid was a prima donna.

Being labeled arrogant stings Kariya worse than any blocked shot. That would be a slap in the face to his parents, and especially his father.

Tetsuhiko Kariya was born in an internment camp for Japanese Canadians during World War II. He's a quiet man who played on Canada's national rugby team in the 1960s. Tetsuhiko did not preach arrogance. He preached humility.

"That was my dad's line: `Always be humble,' " Michiko Kariya said. "He said, `If you're good at something, you don't need to tell anyone.' "

Ask any of Kariya's coaches and teammates at any level and invariably the word "humble" is used to describe him. "He doesn't speak of himself," said Maine coach Shawn Walsh, who saw Kariya pile up 100 points in 39 games as a freshman. "He almost doesn't have an ego."

Said Wilson: "I think Paul is a throwback, 100 percent dedicated to his sport. In the society of sports, most everybody trash-talks. You do not get a mean word out of Paul. He's a gentleman, but everyone thought he was a jerk."

Mario Lemieux, a self-described introvert, understands.

"Some people don't feel comfortable in the spotlight," Lemieux said in 1996. "I've been through it. I've certainly gotten used to it over the years. But it's still tough."

There was no "Handling Stardom 101" class for Kariya. He learned gradually over the last five years, with some exclusive tutoring from the star of handling stardom, teammate Teemu Selanne.

When Selanne arrived in 1996, the two roomed together on the road. Kariya analyzed how Selanne could be a great hockey player without thinking hockey all the time. "Teemu showed Paul that you can whistle while you work," Wilson said.

"He was more shy and not so open," Selanne said. "Many times he didn't want to go out and eat. I made it automatic, he's coming. I start thinking about teaching him how to live. First he had to go out and buy a new car and enjoy life a little more."

Selanne also showed him that dealing with the media and fans didn't have to be torture.

"Paul wasted so much energy thinking, `How am I going to sneak out this time?' " Selanne said. "Paul always wanted to sign for the kids, but there were so many guys that were out there to sell the stuff."

Stu Grimson, who played for the Ducks during Kariya's rookie season, said he immediately noticed the change in Kariya when he returned last season for his second stint with the team.

"To me, the evolution of Paul Kariya has been a gradual willingness to embrace the other things in his life," Grimson said. "Whether it be the media, the fans or other things outside the game, he slowly has learned and been more willing to accommodate these things, knowing he doesn't have to sacrifice part of his game preparation for them."

Kariya turned 25 Saturday. As Hebert puts it, "Paul's no longer a kid." The 19-year-old who tried to escape the spotlight is inching his way toward embracing it, but not for personal glory. "Be humble" is not a lesson he plans to ever forget.

Kariya has learned he is an ambassador for the Ducks--and that he is one of a handful of players to take over for the retired Gretzky as an ambassador for the NHL.

But mostly he has learned how to be a star off the ice the same way he learned to be a star on the ice--through analyzing the situations, listening to successful people, admitting when he's wrong and working on his weaknesses:
  • At a media session for last season's All-Star Game, he had a large group around him--laughing. Yes, the Kariya who once gave short, cliched answers was answering questions thoughtfully. He didn't roll his eyes at questions he perceived as dumb or too personal.
  • After a road game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Kariya was on the team bus when he saw a young boy about 7 years old standing with his mother behind a chain-link fence 40 yards away. The little boy was wearing a Mighty Ducks jersey with "Kariya" on the back. Kariya got off the bus, walked over to the little boy and signed his jersey. Then he talked with him for a few minutes.
  • Kariya was asked to meet a sick child after a morning skate in Edmonton. The father took a picture of Kariya with his son, but Kariya realized he had blinked. He asked the father to take another picture, so the little boy would have a nice picture.
  • Last summer Kariya approached the Ducks' community relations department, suggesting he get together teammates still in town for a cheer-up visit to Children's Hospital of Orange County.
Yes, Kariya gets it now. But he hasn't completely shaken that arrogant label.

"I heard a negative comment from a guy recently about Paul," junior coach Gary Davidsson said. "I think it's unfortunate. Many people don't realize how he's developed and matured with the media and fans."

Michiko Kariya, who handles all her brother's business affairs and some media requests, said the family believes that if her brother had been able to explain the reasons for his guarded behavior, the media and fans might have been more patient.

Because, ironically, Kariya wants to be known more as a super person than a superstar.

"Of course, you'd love to have won the Stanley Cup, but a lot of factors go into that," he said. "I'd like to be remembered mostly as a good person."

Kariya realizes he has a reputation for being a serious robot of an athlete who never has any fun. "I'm not a geek," he once said. And to family and friends, Kariya is a jokester.

"He was always the one making the jokes in the family," Michiko Kariya said.

Teammate Ted Drury confirmed it: "He'll say something he thinks is funny on my answering machine and laugh a minute. I've never seen someone laugh so hard at their own jokes."

Some people believe his bout with post-concussion syndrome has made him appreciate life more. But Kariya said he has always enjoyed life. It's just that he treasured his privacy and didn't want to share his life with the world.

"I still am a private person," Kariya said. "But in the learning process, I learned because of the position you're in, you're not going to be a private person. So don't worry about it."

So what if people know Kariya has a private cook named Robin? "Call her a chef, or she'll get mad at me," Kariya said, laughing. "She went to culinary school."

So what if people know that he went to keg parties in college, according to college teammate and roommate Jim Montgomery? "I had to drag him to some of the parties, but he'd chase a beer down and talk with a girl," Montgomery said. "He's not socially inept like a lot of people think he is."

So what if people know Kariya is a simple guy? He will have earned $48 million by the time he turns 27, but prefers to live in a townhome rather than a mansion.

Asked about the most extravagant thing Kariya owns, Drury said: "He doesn't have anything extravagant."

He doesn't have a big-screen TV. He barely has anything on the walls. His dining room table went unused for three years.

"Finally I had (Steve Rucchin), Teemu and Teddy over and we inaugurated the table," he said.

Kariya owns a red Lexus now, but only because Selanne told him he would "torch" his Integra if he didn't get a new car. Now Selanne is bugging Kariya to "upgrade."

"I was more materialistic when I was 15 years old," Kariya said. "I remember driving around hockey games with my mom and seeing a red Corvette or a red Porsche. My mom likes red. I told her, `One day I'm going to buy one of those.' Now that I have the money to afford one, it's the last thing I want."

Kariya has entertained more often now that he has a chef. He also has been a guest of several teammates and he always brings a gift, usually flowers.

"All the wives love him," Drury said.

When Kariya invited the Ducks' rookies to his house for dinner last season and they arrived empty-handed, he scolded them for bad manners. "The next time they came over they were late, because they were getting flowers for Robin," Michiko said.

And so what if people know a little bit about Kariya's love life? Especially since there isn't much to tell right now. He has been a little too busy with hockey.

Kariya's love life used to be a taboo subject. Now Hebert feels comfortable enough to joke that Kariya is such a "fine catch" that he is prearranging a marriage with his daughter Madeline when she is old enough--in about 20 years.

Kariya said he isn't looking for an actress. He isn't looking for anybody.

"I don't know any girl who would put up with me and my schedule," he said, laughing some more. "I go to bed at 10 every night."

And his perfect evening is a good dinner at home and watching "Seinfeld" reruns.

"It's hard to think about getting married now," he said. "But if a nice girl falls in my lap . . ."
Kariya's focus is hockey, as it has always been. He's never satisfied, always looking for an edge, a better way to do things.

"I've never been around a guy who is as focused day in and day out about the game and getting better than Paul," said Ducks coach Craig Hartsburg, who has either played or coached hockey for 21 seasons. "It's refreshing I think for a professional athlete and superstar to be like that. He approaches the game with a passion that he loves."

To his teammates, Kariya has never been a jerk.

"He's not like a typical celebrity," Drury said. "He wants the team to win. Fans should appreciate that. Fans should respect that. I'm sure they want to come to the Pond and see the team win. He's doing all he can to make that happen."
Chicago Tribune, Oct 17, 1999


Teemu Selanne and Mike Rathje went with wisecracks when assessing their plans for former teammates in tonight's Sharks-Anaheim game.

Selanne will face the Mighty Ducks and former linemate Paul Kariya for the first time since the March 5 trade that sent Jeff Friesen and Steve Shields to Anaheim.

"I'm going to check him the whole game," Selanne said, flashing a big grin. "I know all his tricks."

Informed that Kariya had joked about running him, Selanne laughed and responded: "He can't even move me."
San Jose Mercury News (California), March 29, 2001



"This is the first time I've been on a team that can win," said Selanne in a somewhat disparaging reference to the Disney-owned crew that has well-paid Paul Kariya of North Vancouver trapped on a team that cares nothing about improvement.

"Paul is always so good and upbeat about the situation but we went out at the end of last season together and talked," said Selanne. "For the first time he broke down. He was pretty sad. He said, 'what am I going to do?' Always before he would say, 'c'mon, we can do it. You and I, we can do it together.' Not any more. I talked to him a couple of weeks ago and he's feeling good physically so he's pumped to have a good year. He says his foot is a bit better."

Then, pausing, he said with the classic Selanne smile: "I hope they get better but, you know, I don't have to worry about it any more."

Selanne has to worry about getting himself back to the form he flashed in the last Olympic year when he, Jaromir Jagr, Dominik Hasek and Pavel Bure were the clear superstars of Nagano. He is the latest attempt by management and ownership in San Jose to further upgrade the talent in the hope of getting better.

"You know us, we try to get most of the obstacles to winning out of the way," said Sharks owner George Gund. "We talked about Brett Hull but it was a lot of money we didn't really want to commit to an older player. But we still have it."

The Sharks still could spend it during the season. But even if not they'll certainly challenge Dallas in their division if Selanne can get back into the top five in goal scoring. If attitude induced by his Anaheim liberation makes a difference, he's on his way.
The Vancouver Province (British Columbia), September 19, 2001


DP: Are you considered a pretty boy?
PK: Well, I do have a couple of Lady Byng trophies, which my buddy Teemu Selanne keeps talking to me about.
DP: Selanne wants it back?
PK: Some players would rather have their leg chopped off than win a Lady Byng.
DP: But don't you have to be a pretty boy to win the Lady Byng?
PK: The Lady Byng is somewhat of an image award, but you have to be a good player to win it. I mean, you don't see guys who are just hanging on in the league and not getting any penalty minutes winning just for that. Good players win the award. But at the same time, I'm getting into fights and being called in by Colin Campbell.

DP: But there's a part of the history of the game that says you can't come out unless you're dying.

PK: Correct. 

DP:Does that work against you sometimes when you say, "Man, I'm really hurt. I'd like to come out."

PK: Yeah. There's pressure from teammates and it goes up to management. I mean, part of being a good player is being able to play through injuries. 

DP: Do you have a Lady Byng incentive clause in your contract? 

PK: No. 

DP: You may want to put one in there. 

PK: I don't think they would give me that.

DP: Why are there no bald hockey players?

PK: There are bald hockey players.

DP: Who?

PK: Well, we've got four or five guys on our team. I'm one of them. I'm starting to lose some hair on top. Are you talking about completely bald?

DP: Yeah. Like basketball players who shave their head. 

PK: Guys on our team that are going bald will go high and tight, as we call it. You know, like a number one on the buzzer. Would you consider that bald?

DP: No. No, I'm talking about Michael Jordan bald.

PK: Like absolutely no hair on the top of your head?

DP: Yeah.

PK: No, there's not a lot. Hockey players like to keep a little bit, just to say "I had hair."

DP: Would you ever do Hair Club for Men?

PK: No, I would not.
DP: Hockey players love to have the flowing mane coming out of their helmet, don't they?

PK: Some do.

DP: What is it called? A mullet? Did you ever have a mullet? 

PK: Yeah. See, I have Japanese hair, and it's very straight. Right?

DP: Yeah.

PK: So my idol growing up was Wayne Gretzky, and he used to have the locks flowing flowing out of his JOFA helmet. I wanted to copy him so I grew my hair out. It came straight down like a cape, so I tried to blow dry it to get a little wave in it.

DP: Couldn't you get a perm? 

PK: I thought about that, but it's Oriental hair. It just didn't work.

PK: Have you seen my movie, Mighty Ducks 3?
DP: How would you rate your acting?
PK: If there was an Oscar for athletes, I thought I should have been up for it.
DP: But you didn't cry.
PK: No, but I played my part beautifully. I played myself. The director said, "Can't you show some emotion? Can't you just smile?" And I said, "This is how I give an interview. I'm doing it exactly how I would in real life." There was a scene where I was being interviewed by this kid during the game, and I did it exactly the way I would real life. You can't get any better than that.

DP: Are you one of those nerdy Star Wars guys?
PK: Oh, yeah. I just go the DVD from the last one.
DP: Who's Yoda in the NHL?
PK: Yoda in the NHL ... see, I don't know if Yoda could be a player.
DP: Why?
PK: Yoda might be a coach, because in five movies, he's only had one action scene.
DP: Is there a coach who is Yoda-like?
PK: You might throw Scotty Bowman in there.
DP: What about Darth Vader?
PK: Darth Vader? That's a tough one.
DP: Is it a guy who is tough on the exterior but inside is really not that tough?
PK: Well, Eric Lindros is very tough, a skilled, physical player, but he's one of the nicest guys I've met in hockey.
DP: So he could be a Darth Vader-esque player.
PK: Somewhat.
DP: And what about Luke?
PK: I kind of see Mike Modano as Luke Skywalker.
DP: He's got the hair.
PK: Great with a stick. Light-saber analogy.

DP: Have you ever bought anything after watching an infomercial?
PK: Never.
DP: Thought about it?
PK: Never. Who watches infomercials?
DP: Well, you're up late on the road.
PK: I'm never up late. We have quiet time in our room. We have reading, a lot of reading goes on in our room.
DP: That's very nice.

DP: Your first job was in construction, wasn't it?
PK: Baby-sitting.
DP: Baby-sitting?
PK: Come on, you can't be laughing. I babysat for our next-door neighbor's baby when I was 12-13, somewhere around there.
DP: How did that affect you?
PK: Well, what about the responsibility at that young age?
DP: Oh.
PK: Getting a baby at that age. What does that say?
DP: That you were pretty responsible as a 12-year-old.
PK: I was responsible, yeah.
DP: Either that or there were some pretty dumb parents out there. Were you scarred after being a baby sitter?
PK: Well, I don't want to have kids (laughter). I don't know if that had a lot to do with it or not.

ESPN, Feb 7, 2003


This is Paul Kariya on his own special kind of breakaway.

This is hockey's ultimate good soldier deciding it was finally time to put himself before the team, before the money, before anything and everything, except what truly makes him happy.

Signing this deal with the Colorado Avalanche, accepting this jaw- dropping decrease in salary, tells you two quick things about him. First, he wasn't thrilled to be playing in the new, defence-oriented style adopted by the Mighty Ducks, despite all his denials to the contrary.

And second, he desperately wanted to be reunited with his best friend and hockey soulmate, Teemu Selanne.

"This is not about money," Kariya said Thursday, which was pretty clear when it was announced he had signed a $1.2- million US, one-year deal, leaving him $8.8 million short of what he made last season.

This was about one of hockey's best offensive players longing to skate again in the less-inhibiting, more wide- open style that made him a superstar.

And it was about a longtime friendship that is unique in sports.

Kariya and Selanne are the real-life version of Matthew Perry and Matt LeBlanc on Friends.

Back in 1997, when Kariya outwaited Walt Disney Co., holding out for weeks until Disney paid him what he was worth, I remember strolling through the Ducks' locker room and asking Warren Rychel, one of their blue-collar wingers, what the team's reaction was to his signing.

"I think the biggest whoop came from the No. 8 stall (Selanne's)," Rychel said. "They're like two little kids who can go back into their little world now and be happy."

Kariya and Selanne are the perfect personality mix. Kariya is more introverted, while Selanne is the always-good-natured extrovert.

"I feel like I'm a different person when I'm around him," Kariya once said. "He makes me laugh and open up more than I normally would."

It was Kariya who was responsible for luring Selanne to Anaheim in the first place. They played together in the 1996 all-star game, and when he returned to Orange County, Kariya immediately paid a visit to then-Ducks GM Jack Ferreira.

"I never thought we could get him, but I did tell Jack what a great guy Teemu was," Kariya said. "He's just real humble and down to earth. It is so rare to see a guy of his stature relate to young players so well. It really made an impression on me."

The impression grew when Ferreira made the trade that brought Selanne to The Pond.

"I feel like I should send Jack a thank-you card every day," Kariya said afterward.

Once they were together on the ice, the partnership became even closer. The two could be magical together, like a great baseball double-play combination where one could almost sense the other's next move.

"He knows where I'm going to be and I know where he's going to be," Selanne said.

Rychel was right. The two of them were like little kids who found out they were allowed to room together on the road.

Even then, their tastes were different. Kariya wanted to watch only football and basketball on TV. Selanne was strictly a Baywatch guy. But that didn't matter.

Teemu was always joking and Paul was always laughing.

Then, in March 2001, the Ducks announced they had traded Selanne and his high salary to San Jose.

Kariya was crushed. He tried his best to hide it, but it was a losing battle. Whenever he talked about how much Selanne meant to him, he would almost choke up.

It showed in the scoring charts, too. Kariya still would make many of the same pretty passes, but instead of producing Selanne goals, they would now bounce off some unsuspecting teammate's stick.

The two of them each scored 100 points one year. This past season, playing in different towns, Kariya finished with 81, Selanne with 64. There were many in hockey, even in Anaheim, who thought if this Kariya-Selanne reunion happened, it would be with the Ducks.

General manager Bryan Murray's refusal to tender a $10-million qualifying offer was just a ploy, they thought. Kariya would accept a deal for about half that and Selanne would take an equal share, and they'd all be happy again in Orange County.
But it didn't work out that way. Maybe it couldn't work out that way.

Under Mike Babcock, the Ducks play defence first and worry about everything else later. The deeper they skated into the playoffs this past post-season, the tighter they turned the screws on that defence.

And the more diminished Kariya's role seemed to be. This was Jean-Sebastien Giguere's team now, not his.

Always classy and team oriented, the captain never once whined about it. He wanted to win the Stanley Cup with the franchise that brought him into the NHL. And if it had to be this way, he could accept it. But that didn't mean he had to live with it the rest of his hockey career.

His critics will say he's making a major financial mistake by accepting such a cheap contract.

But it's only for one year; then, at 29, he'll be an unrestricted free agent again.

This is Kariya's way of accepting the challenge.
Edmonton Journal, July 5, 2003


Even as Teemu Selanne lives his hockey fantasy in Colorado with best pal Paul Kariya and Joe Sakic as linemates, he still gets nostalgic about his Silicon Valley experience. He misses his favorite Willow Glen deli and Los Gatos sports bar.

"La Villa sandwiches, I loved those," Selanne said after Avalanche practice Wednesday. "And going to Double-D's.

"I really enjoyed San Jose. Too bad it didn't work out."

Selanne, 33, could have returned to the Sharks this season, but he declined his $6.5 million option and became an unrestricted free agent.

"With everything that happened there during the season, I wasn't sure I wanted to have another year like that," Selanne said. "It wasn't anything about money because that has not been the case for me for years.

"I wanted to see what was out there. I was thinking if there was nothing available, I could always go back to the Sharks for maybe less money."

Selanne ended up taking less money -- $5.8 million -- but he and Kariya succeeded in their plan to be reunited when Colorado accepted their package proposal.

Selanne and Kariya spent six seasons together lighting up the scoreboard for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. That ended on March 5, 2001, when the Sharks acquired Selanne for Jeff Friesen, Steve Shields and a second-round pick.

In Selanne's first full season with the Sharks, he led the team with 29 goals and they won the Pacific Division.

Last season, he led them with 64 points but the Sharks belly-flopped to 14th in the Western Conference.

"It was so disappointing of a year," Selanne said. "The expectations were high and when we struggled, we were shocked. That's why we could never really recover from that.

"I was very happy when I heard that Dougie Wilson was going to be G.M. because he's a class guy. I have nothing bad to say about San Jose. Great times. Great fans. Great organization. Great guys.

"But they were going a different direction than I wanted to go. I understand totally the direction they want to go: younger, cut the payroll a little bit. I felt it was time to move on and there were other things I wanted to do, too."

Such as working the magic with Kariya again.

They got a taste of it flanking Doug Weight of St. Louis on a line for the West in the 2003 All-Star Game. They generated several scoring chances, although they failed to convert.

After the game, they swapped one-liners about a reunion, which at the time seemed to be worthy only of jokes.

But after Selanne let his option with the Sharks lapse, the wheels began to churn in their minds.

"We'd been talking, even during the playoffs, about wanting to play together again," Kariya said.

Anaheim stunned the hockey world by reaching Game 7 of the Stanley Cupfinals before falling to New Jersey. But another shocker followed a few weeks later.

In hopes of retaining him at a reduced rate, the Mighty Ducks didn't give Kariya his qualifying offer of $10 million (his 2002-03 salary). Consequently, Kariya became an unrestricted free agent.

"That's what made it so special," Kariya said. "It doesn't come around all the time where two guys become unrestricted the same year. And to have a team like this willing, it was perfect timing."

Once free-agent season opened July 1, Kariya and Selanne were plotting strategy.

"When we talked, it was like a couple of minutes past midnight," Selanne said. "I couldn't believe it. I said, 'Paul, this is not as big a decision for me because we're going to go to a great team and have fun. It's more of a bigger deal for you because you just came from the Stanley Cup finals and you have to think about what you want to do.'

"Almost at the same time, we said 'Colorado! If we can't make the first line with Peter Forsberg, we'll have to play the second line with Joe.' You know, jokes like that. We didn't even think about any other teams."

Colorado offered $7 million for the pair.

"I thought we would split 3.5 and 3.5," Selanne said. "But Paul said, 'I can't take that money; you have to take it.' "

So Selanne took $5.8 million, and Kariya took the rest. At $1.2 million, he will be eligible for unrestricted free agency again next summer because his salary will be under the league average.

"We were joking, he doesn't make enough money but he also doesn't have expensive hobbies like me," cracked Selanne, a collector of classic automobiles. "He doesn't need the money. He spends only 15 grand a year anyway. I have paid for many lunches and dinners already."

Just none at La Villa or Double-D's.
San Jose Mercury News, September 25, 2003


Colorado GM Pierre Lacroix broke his own rule this summer when he dove into the free-agent deep end to get Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne. He's long been a staunch proponent of only signing his own free-agents. "We've always tried to keep our own assets and I told all the agents for all the players who called on July 1, I wasn't interested," said Lacroix. "But [agent] Don Baizley kept calling for 30 hours. He said Paul and Teemu would come to us, for a discount. I told them they'd have to fit into my budget, or I couldn't take them. The easiest thing in life is to say yes. It's tough to say no, but in this case, their number kept coming down and down, call after call. We happened to be the fortunate team."

Selanne got $5.7 million for this year and Kariya $1.2 million, so he'd be under the league average and a free-agent again next year.

He always knew he'd hook up with Selanne again, after their days in Anaheim. "Even if we'd have to go back to Finland to play," joked Kariya, who has a tacit understanding he'll also get one of the cars in Selanne's crowded garage as a thank-you. "He promised me a Porsche. Maybe I should get it in writing."
The Vancouver Sun, September 29, 2003
 
'My first 2 1/2 years in Anaheim, I had two salaries,' Selanne said, holding court at his Avalanche locker-room stall recently.

'One to play hockey. And one to look after Paul.'

Vegas-style rim shot.

'When the new 'Star Wars' movie was coming out, I was asking Paul when he'd take his sleeping bag and go get in line for tickets,' Selanne said.

It is an arrangement that suits the strait-laced Kariya just fine, one he desperately wanted after Selanne was traded by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim to the San Jose Sharks in 2001. Selanne, or 'Teemulanne,' as Kariya often calls him, is the one teammate who always has brought a smile to Kariya's face. Whether it is with perfectly timed passes, perfect one-timers or perfectly timed one-liners in the locker room, Selanne is Kariya's all-time favorite teammate.

'If you don't like Teemu, there's something wrong with you,' Kariya said after a recent Avalanche practice.'He just loves life. He's passionate about life, and he just always has a good time, whether it's hockey or spending time with his family or driving one of his 400 cars.'

Selanne, 33, looks across the locker room at Kariya, and discusses the topic of Kariya's reputation for frugality.

'I used to kid Paul about money, that he wasn't going to take it with him,' Selanne said. 'But I think I helped him loosen up a little bit about it. He spends a little more on himself now - maybe about 12 to 15 grand a year. But I still have to buy all the lunches and dinners, because he said he can't afford it now. He said he's not making enough here, so I've got to pay.'

'They definitely have a bond on and off the ice, and they're great guys to play with and hang out with,' Avalanche captain Joe Sakic said of Kariya and Selanne. 'They're going to be great for our hockey club. They've added a lot to the dressing room already.'

Veteran Kariya watchers remarked during training camp they never had seen him smile so much.

'It's been like a dream come true,' Kariya said.

Smiles were hard to find on Kariya during his first few years in the NHL. After a college career at the University of Maine that included a national championship, Kariya came to the expansion Mighty Ducks in 1994 with a huge media buildup. Not only was he expected to be an instant superstar, he was pegged as a player that could be marketed around the NHL. The league hoped he would appeal to hockey fans around the world, because of his Japanese heritage, British Columbia upbringing, and his new Southern California home.

The only problem was, Kariya wanted no part of the publicity.

'We'd go into a hotel, and he'd go check the exits and find out how he was going to sneak out so nobody could recognize him,' Selanne said. 'He was just all hockey. He'd get in his room and not come out until it was time to go to the rink. He just didn't want to be bothered.

'We were roommates for 2 1/2 years. I would tell him: 'Hey, man, let's have a little fun. This is still just a game we're playing.' I think he's loosened up a lot since then.'

Kariya acknowledges he was camera-shy his first couple of years, and he still would rather work on his backhand or sharpen his skates than answer reporters' questions. But he said he now isn't all work and no play, and Selanne played a big part in changing him.

'I think it's been a few years since I've been accused of being shy or whatever,' said Kariya, Anaheim's all-time leading scorer with 300 goals. 'You can't help but have fun around Teemu, and that was part of why I wanted to play with him again. I remember the first time he came to Anaheim, we were on the road in (Long Island), and we roomed together. We ended up talking pretty much all night. It took maybe a couple weeks to get used to each other on the ice, but right away we clicked as friends.'

Don't let the friendship thing get too sappy, though. Whenever Kariya and Selanne compete against each other, the action is cutthroat, and bragging rights are mercilessly lorded over the loser.

'Four to two, I won that game,' Selanne said of a recent bubble hockey game between the two. 'Finland vs. Canada, for the gold medal.'

When Selanne is reminded Kariya and Canada won a real gold medal at the last Winter Olympics, he is downcast for the first time all day.

"Oh, yeah," he said, and then the gleam immediately came back. "Hey, but watch out for Finland in 2006."
Denver Post, Oct. 8, 2003

Kariya insisted before the game that his departure wasn't coldly calculated and that fans shouldn't feel he betrayed them.

"I loved it in Anaheim. People there were fantastic to me and the organization. Obviously, the guys were a fantastic group of guys," he said. "But I looked at this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and Teemu and I decided this is going to be a great place for us to play, and we're really happy with the decision."
Los Angeles Times, Jan 31, 2004
 
Q: Who is your best friend in the NHL?
A: [Pauses.] I think Joe Sakic and Paul Kariya are my best buddies. Of course, many of my teammates are good friends, too. But if you don't count those guys, then Joe and Paul.

Q: What is something you know about Paul Kariya that the fans should know?
A: There are lots of things, but I don't know what I should say [laughs]. I'm just glad Paul has found some hobbies. He is a die-hard surfing fan and Texas Hold'em fan. Those are the two things he is definitely passionate about. I think it's great, because it used to be all about hockey for him.

Q: Is he a pretty good poker player?
A: Actually, he is pretty good, yeah. If you ask him, [he'd say] he is the best, but I would say he is pretty good.

Q: You have lost money to him, I guess?
A: Yeah some, but I have taken his money, too [laughs].

Q: Who gave you the nickname the "Finnish Flash"?
A: I think it was the media in Winnipeg. Ken Campbell was writing for the Winnipeg Free Press and I think he gave me the nickname.

Q: Here's your chance to create a nickname. What should we call Paul Kariya?
A: I call him 9-iron [laughs]. I was No. 8, so they started calling me 8-ball. Paul was 9, so I started calling him 9-iron. I thought it was so funny. So that's his nickname, 9-iron.
ESPN, Oct 25, 2006


Right wing Teemu Selanne, 40, has decided to play another season for the Anaheim Ducks and he's lobbying general manager Bob Murray to sign buddy Paul Kariya as his linemate.

Selanne and Kariya played together in Anaheim from 1996-2002, and Selanne said he talked to both Murray and Kariya about reuniting the flashy duo.

"Hopefully they can find something that would make both sides happy," Selanne said. "All the years I played with Paul it was so much fun and it would be nice to play together again."

Murray said he has looked at the possibility of signing Kariya, but added that Kariya, 35, is not the only veteran he is considering.
"Teemu knows Paul very well so it was a good source to go to," Murray said. "But I don't know … I don't know if Paul has decided if he is going to play again."
USA Today, Aug 9, 2010
 
Veteran right-winger Teemu Selanne has recently announced his intention to return to The Anaheim Ducks and a familiar face could be following him to "The Pond." His close friend and long-time teammate Paul Kariya will likely join him and return to the team he started his distinguished NHL career.

Selanne himself spoke on the matter, "I've talked to Paul and the Ducks. Paul has been waiting for my decision, and I hope things move forward."
Bleacher Report, Aug 9, 2010


Teemu also chatted a few times with Paul Kariya, his longtime friend and former Ducks and Colorado teammate. Kariya, 35, is a free agent and also contemplating retirement, so Selanne reminisced about fun times and raised the possibility of Paul joining him in Anaheim.

"He sounded so excited every time I brought it up," Selanne said. "It would be nice to get him back, but he was going to wait for me (to make a decision) and go forward."

So what was one of the first things Selanne did Monday after he signed a copy of his new contract (one year for $3.25 million plus incentives) and FAX-ed it back to the Ducks?

He sent a text message to Kariya.

"I said, 'Now it's your turn,'" Selanne said. "Hopefully they'll be able to find (common ground)."
Orange County Register, August 10, 2010
 
ANAHEIM - Teemu Selanne's decision to play another season in the NHL will depend in part on ... Paul Kariya?
Selanne said Tuesday he's interested to know if Kariya would return to Anaheim after missing all of the 2010-11 season with post-concussion symptoms.

"Obviously all the years that I had with Paul, it was just unbelievable," Selanne said. "I talked to him yesterday and we're going to meet next week. We didn't even talk about injuries yet but I want to talk to him about how he's doing, what he's thinking and maybe go surf with him."

Kariya had 300 goals and 669 points in 606 career games in Anaheim, before leaving as a free agent in 2003.

Kariya, who turns 37 in October, had 18 goals and 43 points for the St. Louis Blues in 2009-10, his last full season. He remains the longest-serving captain in franchise history (eight seasons) but would need to negotiate a jersey number - Bobby Ryan was unceremoniously given Kariya's No.9 in 2009.
The Daily News of Los Angeles, April 27, 2011


"I feel fantastic," he told ESPN.com from his adopted home in California Tuesday, a day before his retirement was announced in a brief statement. "I do feel much better. I don't want people to think I'm in trouble right now."

"He said to me, 'No one in my profession would clear you to play this season,'" Kariya recalled. Lovell also told Kariya that if it had been up to him, he would have suggested Kariya retire right then and there.

"I was shocked," Kariya said.

Kariya began working with Dr. Daniel Amen, who is one of the NFL's leading post-concussion experts, using his workout regimen and protocol. After five months of hyperbolic chambers and other workout regimens, Kariya jumped from the 20th to the 80th percentile in brain function. Still, Amen echoed Lovell's sentiments: playing NHL hockey again would be foolhardy.

"There's still brain damage on the scan," Kariya said.

Even confronted with all that data, Kariya was until recently confident he could come back and play, given the lack of headaches and lack of pressure in his head.

"In the spring, when teams were calling, I was getting excited to play," he said.

Kariya suffered his first concussion in 1996, then another in 1998. In recent months, Lovell has shown Kariya his test results dating back to those first head blows. What Kariya doesn't have is his baseline test, a test showing his brain activity prior to the first concussion. "So, who knows what I was before," he said.

"Obviously, playing a contact sport right now isn't in my best interests," he said with a laugh.

But he will continue to be physically active. He does 45 minutes of aerobics three days a week to keep his heart strong and help his brain continue to heal. He does yoga. And when he was working with Amen, he was given the choice of ping pong or ballroom dancing because of the mental stimulation both require.

Kariya chose ballroom dancing.

"It's probably the most difficult thing I've ever done," he confided.

So, is a spot on "Dancing With The Stars" in the offing?

He laughed.

"If you saw me dance, you would get the answer very quickly," Kariya said.

“He reads the books about how to surf, he watches surfing videos,” Teemu Selanne said. “He wants to be as good as he can be. He’s out there every day. And he told me that once I’m done playing, we’ll play golf once a week.”

But Kariya will not ride a wave or a car or any other mode of transportation into Honda Center, and not because of any particular antipathy toward the Ducks, who have changed mightily since he left after the run to Game 7 of the 2003 Stanley Cup Final.

“He’s generous with the kids, and I was there one day when he gave away 10 pairs of skates and some sticks,” Selanne said. “I need to talk to him, find some way to get him back with the Ducks’ family. Obviously he was the No. 1 star here. He has a lot to give to this organization.

“They should retire his number. Absolutely. But he says, no, don’t ever talk to him about that. He’s still a little humble about that, for sure.”

Selanne senses Kariya is “bitter” about the way it all ended, about the fact that Kariya’s head became a piñata, and nobody seemed to care.

“It was magic when we played together,” said Selanne, who joined Kariya in February of 1996. “We didn’t have to look at each other to know where we were. Every day we practiced different things, and there was always a competition. Who could score more goals? That’s how we got better.

“Expectations were so high. He would make a bad pass and we’d go to the bench and I was just giving it to him so bad. Teammates would say, ‘Holy smokes, what’s he doing?’ He would do the same to me. Not very often can any player have that type of chemistry.”

Adding to his night was the rare appearance of his great friend, Paul Kariya, the Ducks’ first big star and longtime captain. Kariya sat in a suite with Avalanche great Joe Sakic, now the team’s executive vice president.

Selanne said he talked for an hour with Kariya on Saturday and joked that “I don’t take no for an answer.”

“I never could have dream about having that kind of chemistry with somebody like Paul,” Selanne said. “I told him last night, ‘I want you to be there. Even if you come for just one period.’ Because I know he’s going to be there, it’s very special for me.”
Orange County Register, April 13, 2014
 
Kariya, somewhat reclusive now in his post-playing days, was in attendance after a personal invite by Selanne.

"I told him (Saturday) night I wanted him here, even if it's only for one period," Selanne said. "It's very special for me... He was the only player I really invited, I told him I don't take no for an answer. It was surprising, but I told him he had no options."
Fox Sports West, April 13, 2014


One of Selanne's longtime teammates still marvels at his old pal's passion for the game.

"It's unbelievable," retired star Paul Kariya told ESPN.com Sunday. "It's one of the great stories in all of sports. To play hockey at this level and the way he's doing it at this age, I mean MVP at the Olympics at 43 is just unbelievable. One of the great sports stories of all time."

From the day Selanne arrived in Anaheim following his trade by the Winnipeg Jets during the 1995-96 season, Kariya has never been around a player who enjoyed life and hockey so much.

"His passion ... for life in general ... I don't know anyone that loves being alive and loves every moment of the day like Teemu does," said Kariya, 39. "He loves being around the guys and going out for dinner on the road and all the little things, the joking around. He loves every part of the game. I think that's a big reason why he's played for so long. It's incredible what kind of passion and love for the game he has held onto for this long."

Kariya attended Selanne's last regular-season game last month.

"I think he's actually going to play longer. I don't know why he's talking about this retirement stuff," Kariya said with a laugh.

"I just think they have to play him more," Kariya added with a chuckle. "It is funny. When we talked this year, there were times when he just wants to be on the ice more and more power-play time. That's what I'm talking about with the passion and the drive. He still has that determination to be the best and to help the team win hockey games. He feels like he can do more and I believe him."
ESPN, May 11, 2014


Teemu when asked the best player he's ever played with or against:
"Well I have been very lucky that I've always played with great players... When I was in Colorado, Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg were amazing. Same thing Getzlaf and Perry, they're in the same category…Paul Kariya was probably the…if I have to pick one, I would probably say Paul Kariya."
Jay and Dan Podcast, Jan 8, 2015 (59 minutes)


“I’ve been very lucky that I’ve been playing with unbelievable players pretty much all of my career, but nothing has been even close to playing with Paul,” he said. “Everything was so easy. We played the same way. We were thinking the same way about the game. It was just unbelievable.

“I always believe in that chemistry. We did every drill together. Even our teammates were laughing. If we had the same drill, they always said, ‘OK, you guys go first.’ We were talking after every shift, after every game to try and get better. That’s how you create some magic.
[From media conference call before jersey retirement ceremony.]
On if there is a player or coach who contributed to his success on the ice:
I haven’t found any other player who I had more chemistry with than Paul [Kariya].

On the instant chemistry with Paul Kariya:
It was funny how it worked. As people, we’re totally opposite. But the way we thought the game was exactly the same. Speed was our key. We could both score and pass, so it was very important that we could make the right decision at the right time. We challenged each other. Every practice we had a competition. We pushed ourselves every day, and it didn’t matter if it was a game or practice. Even in games, when he made a bad pass, I’d just flip him off on the bench and vice versa. When I made a bad pass, I knew he would yell at me. It made us better [players].

We really enjoy spending time with each other. We’re still good friends. It was a very special time.

On what led him to signing with the Colorado Avalanche as a free agent:
I was planning to come back here and play with Paul again, but I think he had some issues with the Ducks. He was so mad, so he said we’re going to go somewhere else. We had houses here, so I was a little disappointed because we wanted to play together again, but he had hard feelings. He wanted to go somewhere else, so we started searching and decided to go to Colorado. It didn’t work out as good as we wanted, but it was also an important year for me. I learned a lot. I grew up a lot during that time. That’s how it went.
Anaheim Ducks, Jan 8, 2015


The reclusive former Ducks star made a rare appearance at the Honda Center for his ex-linemate's final regular-season game back in April, but it doesn't appear as though he will be there Sunday night. Although there are whispers of a surprise appearance, Ducks PR confirmed that he's on a ski trip this weekend.

"I'm going to kill him when I see him," Selanne joked. "I'm not ok with it, but he says he's out of town and he's serious about it."

Kariya's No. 9 is the next number Selanne wants to see retired in the Honda Center. There's a running joke that Kariya may not show up for his own jersey retirement, and it's probably a legitimate question too.

Kariya's well-documented head injuries and his feelings towards the league for letting his head suffer have kept him from the hockey scene since his retirement. He surfs now, and Selanne says he's good at it.

His appearance at Selanne's final regular season game was a well-orchestrated surprise. It took a week of calling Kariya daily and that's a chore itself since Kariya, still a little old school in some ways, rarely answers his phone.

"He really believes that answering the phone costs him money," Selanne said, laughing. "I always have to say, 'Hey buddy, it's free to answer the phone.'"

"I said, 'You've got to be there.' He didn't want to come because he didn't want to see anybody. So my son Leevi he knows, in the Honda Center, every seat there. So I said, 'He's going to pick you up before the first period is over, and you don't have to see anybody.' (Leevi) is good with the stuff. So he met him at the ramp and took him up to his seat and he didn't see anybody."

Well, that was until the Honda Center cameras found Kariya in a suite and put him on the big screen, completely surprising even the Ducks' brass.

Should he show up Sunday night, it will once again surprise the Ducks' brass. The franchise icon that helped the Ducks reach the 2003 Stanley Cup Final and sacrificed his body to get the Ducks to a Game 7 will continue to be revered in Orange County lore. The organization and fans would always welcome him back.

But for now, his friend says he's content to live his quiet life by the beach away from hockey. Teemupalooza will have to go on without Paul Kariya.
Fox Sports West, Jan 11, 2015


When asked after the ceremony if he was disappointed [that Kariya didn't appear], Selanne didn’t show it.

“I think time heals. There’s something that he doesn’t like to be part of hockey right now. That’s my next challenge, to get him back in hockey,” Selanne said. “I think right now he doesn’t want to be a part of it and I respect that.”
Puck Daddy, Jan 12, 2015


Kariya taped a testimonial for the video screen, and got a loud cheer. The Ducks were ecstatic last season when he quietly agreed to do some community work for the organization, with one proviso: it stayed private, no media. Word is he still does it, even in a pinch when the mumps outbreak prevented current players from doing hospital visits.
Sportsnet, Jan 13, 2015

Date: 2015-02-03 08:49 am (UTC)
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