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October 22, 2016

Teemu Selanne

Kris King

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


Q. Teemu, how much involvement did you have in writing that script today?
TEEMU SELANNE: Actually, nothing but I got a little help there. But then obviously it was a great ending, too. But the whole week has been unbelievable. And, first of all, coming back here -- coming back here and meeting all the old teammates and guys I haven't seen in 20 years, playing in games against those Edmonton legends.

And obviously getting back to the Winnipeg people here, it's something special. And this outdoor game you don't have a chance to do this very often. So so far it's been unbelievable.

Q. Teemu, what was it like -- I mean you get the key to the city yesterday, and obviously the fans here, despite being here four years, they still love you all these years later. And to get the first goal on that penalty shot, what was it to look up and see everybody cheering your name?
TEEMU SELANNE: It's amazing. Obviously I've always had a great relationship with the fans and people here. So it was really special. And I knew I'm going to score, too, so it's a good feeling (laughter).

Q. Olczyk said the fix was in, that you were on the top line, but you proved him wrong. Why were you not playing with Selanne all those years ago?
KRIS KING: You know, it's a couple things. I thought I was terribly coached throughout my career. I actually think the pressures of paying for money was the biggest reason. Once they stopped paying me I found my hands again. (Laughter).

But I know Teemu wanted to play me all those years but John Paddock wouldn't agree.

TEEMU SELANNE: I went to coach's room every day and asked to play with him, but he said no for some reason.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Ty wanted to play with me all the time.

TEEMU SELANNE: He wanted to play with me.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: He didn't want to play with me but he had to.

Q. Teemu, why do you think you have that bond with the fans? What is it about these people and you that kind of work so well together?
TEEMU SELANNE: Obviously one thing, of course, I played well here, but I'm a very social guy. I think people -- it's easy to come talk to me. And I like the people, and I get along very well.

If I would be shy it would never happen. So pretty much very lucky that everywhere I played, with the fans and people have been very nice. But I think it's also how do you treat them? If you treat them well they usually treat you well, too.

But everything comes very naturally and easy for me. I like people. And I think that's the only thing.

Q. Teemu, I think it was mentioned earlier in the week you would probably be the best player in this game. Did you feel any pressure going in to perform the way that you did?
TEEMU SELANNE: No, not at all. I only skated twice in the last two years, so you can't take any pressure off that. But I played in the NHL two and a half years ago, so I knew if I would skate a couple more times it would be a different story even.

But, you know, it's always -- I think now I start playing a little more. It was a lot of fun and in Anaheim it's always, like, midnight or 11:00. Usually I have better things to do then. That's why I haven't skated.

But little by little I think I start getting back into hockey again. And when Carlyle is back in Anaheim, I think it's a good time to help the team maybe a little bit, too.

So far I've been really enjoying the off time. And actually I don't know if I have time to help them because I'm so busy off the ice.

Q. Kris, when the lead was getting away did you have to get up and give the Knute Rockne speech to get them going again?
KRIS KING: Tommy McVie is a scary guy. I would love to have played for Tommy McVie. He was pretty intense back there. I actually went over to Stephen Walkom and said, what is with these two guys? First of all, Danny makes an unbelievable poke check on a penalty shot. I guess I probably shouldn't say that.

TEEMU SELANNE: They're not going to find you.

KRIS KING: No, but they actually work with these guys. Unless I saw it wrong, I thought he made the save. And there were some questionable calls. But I'm sure the guys back in Toronto in the video room clipped those and sent them on to Stephen.

We knew Teemu would find a way and he did. And it was probably the right ending.

Q. Teemu, obviously part of this weekend is looking back with this game, we're looking ahead with two young teams now in each of these cities. Do you see the possibility that this Jets team might have more success against the Oilers than happened in the '80s, I guess, before your time?
TEEMU SELANNE: I think so. You know, not very often you're going to find a team that there's so many star players in the one team, like the Oilers have in the '80s. There's a team that's almost impossible to beat.

And it doesn't happen very often. And that's obviously bad luck for the Winnipeg team, because it was just a bad timing. They were so long time together -- the whole core was young, great superstars, hockey Hall of Famers.

So it's kind of a shame that nobody else had a chance to win that time. But I think now the new generation, I think with the salary cap and everything, I think that gives other teams a chance to win again. So now, the team, the franchise, who is going to be smart and how to build a team, it's going to have a success. And I think the Winnipeg team, a lot of young, great players and I think they're going to have a bright future here.

Q. I was just talking with Ellett and Ford, and they were actually kind of emotional about having the alumni for the Jets back together and that it wasn't for a while, I don't know if you guys did talk or whatever. But how important is it to you guys, now that this has happened, to keep this going for Winnipeg Jets alumni?
KRIS KING: People forget that when we left in '96, there were 16 years of no alumni here. And it's hard for any city to keep your alumni active when that happens.

I think this was the perfect springboard for the Winnipeg Jets to kind of reconnect with the guys again and having everybody here and not just the guys who played but all the other guys who came back to be part of the weekend.

A lot of us -- I've been back, but a lot of the guys hadn't been back for over 20 years, and seen some of those guys in that long time.

So I think it's a great time for the Jets alumni. Guys are very excited about reconnecting with everybody, and I think that we'll see a lot more alumni events with this core group of guys in the future.

So I think it was really well timed for all of the alumni. They're really excited about being here.

Q. Teemu, about 15 minutes ago Gretzky was sitting in the same chair as you and he called you the best player in today's game. And Mark Messier acknowledged the same. Does that mean anything special to you when it comes from guys like that?
TEEMU SELANNE: Well, of course it means a lot. Obviously those guys are, the players that I had the pictures on my wall when I was young. If you look at what they've done in hockey, it's something unbelievable.

And so I think hockey should be so happy to have those two guys. And obviously young guys like me, you know, not so young, but younger than those guys, I just tried to do my part for the hockey.

And I think they're in the same boat. Those guys have been great role models for me and a lot of people. So, of course, it means a lot.

And that's why it was so special weekend because not only our guys, like Kris said, over 20 years we haven't seen some guys and now we get together and have fun and have this great weekend here.

But getting Gretzky and Messier and those guys here, the lineup for them was unbelievable. I tried to count the Stanley Cups they have in that team. I lost count about 50 or something. It's unbelievable. And getting them here, you know, playing against us, it was really special.

MODERATOR: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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