Selanne, Numminen double ex-Jet factor

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 1:12 PM ET

The Winnipeg Jets quotient heading to Italy got a little bigger yesterday.

A day after Shane Doan and Kris Draper were named to Canada's men's Olympic team, Finland unveiled Teemu Selanne and Teppo Numminen as members of their squad.

Selanne, 35, is off to a sizzling start with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and would be a prime candidate for comeback player of the year -- if the National Hockey League had such an award.

"It's probably going to be my last Olympics, that's why it's a little more special," Selanne told the Orange County Register yesterday. "The national team always has been a happy place for me. I really like our chances. You never know what's going to happen, that's why the tournament is so special. The gap between the No. 1 and No. 5 team is pretty much nothing. You're talking about two weeks of time. Whoever is going to be hot is going to have a great chance to win."

LEADS THE TEAM

Selanne, who was brought back to Anaheim by new Mighty Ducks general manager Brian Burke, leads the team in scoring with 18 goals and 30 points in 32 games.

During the 2003-04 season with the Colorado Avalanche, the Jets top pick (10th overall) in 1988 had just 16 goals and 32 points in 78 games.

Selanne, who won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1992-93 after a record-setting 76 goals, now has 470 goals and 981 points in 915 regular season games in the NHL.

Numminen, 37, has been a steadying force on a surprising Buffalo Sabres squad that is among the biggest surprises in the Eastern Conference.

A sound, under-the-radar free agent signing by Sabres general manager Darcy Regier, Numminen has 20 assists in 34 games this season.

Numminen, a second round pick of the Jets back in 1986, has 111 goals and 571 points in 1,194 career NHL games.

In all likelihood, this will also be Numminen's last Olympics.


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