When you talk and write about such a great man like National Hockey League legend and Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne, you wish you could only report good news and entertaining facts. However, on Wednesday morning, the news coming from the talented former NHL forward are tragic and devastating.
It has been reported by a Finnish newspaper that Selanne has lost his mother, Liisa Selanne, who passed away at age 81. The news was first reported by Selanne's youngest son, 18-year-old Leevi, who posted a picture and an emotional tribute to his grandmother on his Instagram account.
According to the Finnish newspaper, Leevi posted very moving words about his grandmother in both English and Finnish:
"Your kindness and your love live through me and our family for generations. I love you and I miss you so much now," Leevi wrote in English.
"To the end", Leevi added in Finnish. "You are my angel always in heaven."
Selanne has always been a family man. He thanked his mother and father last November in his emotional speech at the Hockey Hall of Fame. He also thanked his twin brother, Paavo, a former goalie who stood in for a lot of shots while he honed the skills that would help him score 684 NHL goals.
“I apologize that I stole your confidence to stop playing, but I needed that confidence,” said Selanne. “Thank you.”
Selanne was back in Winnipeg for the Jets' Game 6 against the Nashville Predators during the second round series on May 9. He flew in, on a jet of course, and the crowd in white went wild when the Hall of Famer was filmed and placed on the JumboTron.
“You know what, you’re never going to forget that, it’s unbelievable,” Selanne told Jamie Thomas about the raucous Winnipeg crowd. “The Whiteout, I always wanted to come in (for a) playoff game since I retired and now I’m here, so very excited.”
“It’s always a special time for me to come here and see how much the fans appreciate the hockey players and myself,” he said. “What a great relationship we have had for so many years.”
Jets fans will be so sorry to hear of the passing of Selanne's mother, and so will the rest of the NHL.