"I don't have
to try to be positive," Selanne says, "because I am positive."
Selanne has an
overt fondness for junk TV (Baywatch, Desperate Housewives, Deal or No Deal),
junk food (Finnish licorice) and people. He is the kind of guy who would give a
teammate the shirt off his back, not that any of the Mighty Ducks would want
it. On the eve of Game 7 in Calgary, Selanne unveiled a garish
striped-and-patterned beige sport shirt--"a hippie shirt," he says.
("Teemu probably wore it with a checkered suit," Kariya speculates,
though erroneously. "[He'll wear] blacks with browns. A GQ editor would
look at him and have a heart attack.") Selanne escaped a players' fine,
probably because Anaheim won the next night. He is also the only Duck without a
playoff beard, an ongoing source of dressing-room barbs. "We've gotten used
to that toothless grin, but we give him a pretty hard time about the beard
thing," says Andy McDonald, Selanne's center. "He has a gift for
keeping everybody pretty loose. [As a team] we're focused, but we don't seem to
get too uptight. We get that from him and Scott [Niedermayer, the captain.]
always happy to see when someone else does well, always ready to help,"
McDonald continues. "My first year pro [2000-01] I got called up and was
stuck at a hotel, and he gave me a car to drive. A Buick. Maybe his wife's car.
That's a Teemu loaner."
Selanne will be
an unrestricted free agent after the season--he vows to never again play
anywhere except Anaheim--but says a new contract can wait along with the dental
work. With the playoffs still unfolding and a Stanley Cup shimmering around a
few more turns, he wants to take care of more meaningful things first. For the
most gregarious of Ducks, replacement teeth are a bridge too far.