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January 18, 1998

Teemu Selanne


Q. Teemu, your line seemed to really be able to click really quick off the bat, had a great game.

TEEMU SELANNE: Yeah, we had a lot of fun. I think we started building that chemistry a couple days ago already. We had a lot of fun here this week. It was great to play with my countrymens. Actually, we did a little bit bad who was going to play with whom in Nagano (laughter). But it was fun.

Q. You're the first European to ever score a hat trick. Feel pretty nice?

TEEMU SELANNE: Oh, I be great every time when I score. But I got some great passes, so they helped me a lot. But it's always nice.

Q. Teemu, can you comment on what it was like to be in the same dressing room with Jari Kurri and what he's meant to Finnish players? I know you had some shifts there with him today.

TEEMU SELANNE: It's always nice to hang around with Jari. Middle of '80s, I was really following closely his career here. I had Gretzky and Jari's picture on my wall. My biggest idol. A couple years after I already started working in hockey school, we became really good friends. Right now it's funny, because he used to be my idol and now we're really close friends, hang around a lot together in the summertime in Finland. Jari has helped me a lot off the ice and on the ice. He has been just great role model for the younger players.

Q. Would you like to see this format continue in future years?

TEEMU SELANNE: I really like it. I think it was really interesting to see what kind of game is going to be. I think even we can make this game even a lot better when we use a little bit more speed and more tempo. You don't really necessarily have to have hitting and hooking and all those things. About you really play a high tempo summer hockey, that would be perfect (laughter).

Q. Teemu, you and Keith Tkachuk are split up now. What are your thoughts? You both had 3-point nights? Can you talk about not playing with him.

TEEMU SELANNE: Well, it was surprise to me that I won the MVP because we lost. But, you know, there's a lot of great players both sides. You never know what's going to happen. But I think overall it was again very nice to be here. It's always nice to be a part of this happening.

Q. A game like this is obviously just a fantasy. But the way the game is now with all, as you mentioned, the hooking and obstruction, do you wish it was somewhere maybe in the middle between what you usually get and today?

TEEMU SELANNE: Maybe little bit. But I think the most important thing is when you have a high tempo, even there's not hitting, checking, you know, it's going to be great to watch, great to play, too. So that's what I meant that we can really make this game another level if we all understand that. Nobody wants to get hurt, this kind of game. All the players can have a lot of fun this weekend here. We have a little bit of time to relax, meet other players in the league. So it's really nice for us. I think that's why it's important that we are smart out there, but at the same time we can have a lot of fun.

Q. Just wanted to know if it was strange at all to be teammates with people who you are going to be playing against in a couple weeks? Do you have a strong adversarial relationship with the Swedish players?

TEEMU SELANNE: I think it's really nice to see other players, other European players. I think only like I know a lot of Swedes, I'm good friend of them. But it was really nice to see other Europeans, too. We all in the same boat; we are foreigners here. That's why it was nice to meet them and hang around a little bit, get knowing them better. I think it's really nice. I think it's important that all the players are good friends off the ice, even if when you playing against those guys there's no friends on the ice, so.

Q. Teemu, you had a really good game tonight, played really well, as did your teammates. Do you think that's sort of a wake-up call to North America that the Olympics are more than just Canada versus U.S.A.?

TEEMU SELANNE: I think both sides have great players. I think Europeans can bring a lot of good things in the league here. I think North American players, they respect Europeans more and more. Europeans, it's going to be a big part of the NHL in the future, too. It's great to see that they really treat us good and they respect us. I think it's really important. That's why, like my generation, we really have to respect those guys like Jari and Bure and Mats. The guys that have done so much for European hockey, it's easy to come now and play for the league, when everybody respect European.

Q. What are you going to do with the truck, keep it or give it away?

TEEMU SELANNE: I don't know yet (laughter).

End of FastScripts....

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