As you may know, there’s an official documentary film of Teemu Selänne, which hit the theatres in Finland this autumn. It has already broken records for most watched documentary film here. This is hardly surprising considering his status as a semi-god. The documentary being done in cooperation with Selänne, it’s doesn’t offer much critique nor deepness, but gives a jovial view to the life of a hockey professional ,as well as some comments from his family, friends, and former coaches. For older fans it probably doesn’t offer too much new information (at least hockey wise), but for us younger people, who don’t have own memories of the beginning of his career, it’s a nice way to get a history lesson.
Now, I’m not sure whether it will be available in North America in any form, but in case it will, I suggest you to check it out. Meanwhile, I can offer you some samples from it.
While there’s a lot about his career, we also learn about Selänne as a person. According to his parents, he was always the bit unruly one, while his twin brother was the "voice of reason" in their relationship. Teemu was apparently the more social one as well.
What came up a lot was that a pro athletes need to be more or less selfish, and the family life circles around their career. For example the birth of their first child was scheduled according to Teemu’s play schedule so he could be there (he then went to party with his friends, and somehow managed to score a hat trick the next day...).
It was also said that he’s always either late, or at least the last one to arrive. Except when the Jokerit (his Finnish team) owner told him he would miss the helicopter ride if he wasn’t on time. He was 10 minutes early.
Overall, all the former coaches, team mates, friends and relatives who were "interviewed" seemed to all think Selänne is a great guy with incredible motivation and drive to win.
His off-ice interests got also mentioned, for example tennis and golf (they showed his daughter trying to practice and it was seriously the cutest). Selänne is known for his taste for fast cars, and once this interested extended to rally as well. Because the player contracts apparently forbid them to take up "dangerous" hobbies, he competed under the name "Teukka Salama" (Salama meaning "flash" in Finnish). This however ended when he accidentally crashed with our hockey federation boss.
Selänne was drafted in the first round by Winnipeg Jets in 1988, an occurrence the man himself was unaware of, until his friend’s mom woke him up and informed about this. Since he had been partying the night, the name of the team escaped his memory, and he had to ask that again when he woke up next time. However, he decided to stay in Finland for couple of more years and helps Jokerit to success.
The movie shows the important milestones, team changes from his point of view, and explains the comebacks (went to see hockey, thought he could play better than the guys on the ice…). There’s also national team stuff: Nagano 1998, World Championship tournament 2003, and Torino 2006 (fun fact, I’m still not over the last two).
Selänne never won anything with the national team, but the Stanley Cup win probably made up for that…
Quotes from the movie
No one can come between two people if there's no room - Selänne about his relationship with his wife
He doesn't always drink milk - Jokerit owner in reference to Selänne's milk commercials
*This will be short because I'm lazy and y'all know his career anyway...