Legend has it that in the summer of 2006, after Sandis Ozolinsh had been traded to the Rangers Brian Burke asked Teemu Selanne whether he wanted to return to his famous number eight or continue wearing 13 because whatever he chose would eventually become the first number ever retired by the franchise. Of course he chose eight, they went on to win the Stanley Cup the next spring and Teemu's place as an Anaheim (Mighty) Ducks legend was even further cemented.
So it comes as no surprise that there will be a night to honor him and raise his number to the rafters this season. Earlier today the Ducks announced that it will officially happen on January 11 prior to the game against the Winnipeg Jets.
The choice of the Jets as the opponent, only makes logical sense, considering that even though Teemu never played for this incarnation of the Jets, there is a SERIOUS emotional connection between him and the city of Winnipeg. Perhaps this is something the New Jersey Devils could learn from in the future.
Bitterness aside, and this being the summer, I guess it's as good a time as any to, not only honor Teemu but once again raise the question of what other numbers (if any) deserve to hang beside the vaunted number eight in the future. I'm not really even sure where I stand on that issue personally, but I think arguments can be made for Jean-Sebastien Giguere's 35, Paul Kariya's 9 and Scott Niedermayer's 27 (probably in that order of likelihood).
As for the night itself, if it is half as emotional as the regular season finale against Colorado, it will be a hell of a night for all involved.
And finally, I close with one request, if anyone in the Ducks' office is reading, the banner should be black, gold and orange on one side with eggplant and jade on the other to represent Teemu's full tenure with the franchise. Thank you for your consideration.