Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/6/13
Few NHL teams get the kind of fan support enjoyed by the Winnipeg Jets. On Sunday however the 15004 fans who will pack the MTS Centre will be there not only to root on their own team to say goodbye to perhaps the most popular athlete in the city's history but one who hasn't worn a Jets uniform in 17 years. Anaheim Ducks forward Teemu Selanne who set NHL rookie scoring records as a Jet during the 1992-93 season will make his final visit to Winnipeg on Sunday when his current team makes its only visit of the season to Manitoba. Selanne now 43 has said he plans to retire after the season; perhaps as a way of making sure he'd be ready for his last appearance in his first NHL home the Ducks made him a healthy scratch for their game against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. The Jets have won their first two games beating the Edmonton Oilers on the road and the Los Angeles Kings at home. But their fast start is taking a back seat to the Selanne's last visit in an NHL uniform. Jets coach Claude Noel is acutely aware of the story that dominates what would ordinarily be an early-season game between two teams that don't have a lot of history -- the franchises have met 14 times with each winning seven. "I just hope we win the game while we marvel" Noel said after Saturday's practice. "He's been such a dominant player and had such an impact here in Winnipeg ... he's a guy that has made a big contribution to not only the NHL but the NHL here in Winnipeg" Noel said "His numbers both internationally and in the National Hockey League speak volumes for the player. This is a guy that performs. You watch him play at his age ... it's just a marvel. For me it's always been a pleasure to watch him play but even to continue to play at this level like he does is something else. Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau is trying to manage Selanne's workload to keep him fresh for the 82-game regular-season grind. But there was no question that the former Jet would be in the lineup Sunday just as he was when the Ducks came to town on October 2011 for his first visit to his old city since the original Jets became the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996. The franchise moved a few months after Selanne was traded to the then-Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. He later played with the San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche before returning to the Ducks in 2005.
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