Teemu Selänne prepares for life after ice hockey
Hotel construction project in Espoo is one of NHL star's ongoing real estate ventures
By Heikki Miettinen
Finnish ice hockey ace Teemu Selänne is preparing himself carefully for the time that will follow his sporting career.
Selänne’s last NHL season with the Anaheim Ducks will commence in October, but already Selänne is also looking into his life after ice hockey.
Through the company TS Holding that he owns, Selänne is part of an enterprise called Ultavista, which is in the process of putting up a Marriott chain hotel in Espoo’s Westend.
“I don’t think I will be involved in the hotel business as such, but the real estate business is something that I have been interested in for quite some time now.”
Selänne’s stake in Ultavista is ten per cent.
”It has been more than profitable”, Selänne says in Espoo in connection with the announcement of the Marriott undertaking.
The Marriott luxury hotel is scheduled for completion by the end of 2012, if the ongoing appeal rounds progress swiftly in the Helsinki Administrative Court.
Through the Ultavista real estate investment company Selänne has had access to various building projects.
This may well become his career of choice once he is done with playing ice hockey.
“This is one field that I have definitely been interested in, if one does not count automobiles. I do not see cars as a business. It is more like a hobby”, Selänne says.
At the Espoo headquarters of the Finnish elevator and escalator manufacturer Kone, everybody else involved in the hotel venture is wearing a suit, apart from the central figure of Selänne, who is casually dressed in a pullover.
“Maybe I’ll wear a suit in a year’s time”, Selänne jokes.
In all likelihood, Selänne’s transition into business life should not be too difficult, thanks to his suave demeanour and the capital that a lengthy career at the top of the ice hockey tree has earned him.
“I have not yet been extremely active, even though I have been kept well informed”, Selänne explains his current involvement with the entanglements of the real estate world.
Selänne started in the NHL in the autumn of 1992 and has said he will end his career in the North American ice hockey league 19 years later in the spring of 2011. He turned 40 in July of this year.
More than likely the landing from ice to solid ground will be a soft and smooth one: Selänne has worked for years to ensure this.
“If I look at some of my colleagues, the ones who have had problems after their sporting career, it has been because they have not had anything to fill the void with”, Selänne says of his former ice hockey buddies, whose everyday lives have in some cases turned into a nightmare.
For now ice hockey still keeps Selänne busy, and the NHL is the thing that is first and foremost on his mind.
His one-year contract with Anaheim will fatten Selänne’s bank account to the tune of three million dollars, but it also comes with lots of expectations.
To prove himself worthy of his salary, Selänne is expected to deliver goals for the team.
Selänne finally won the coveted Stanley Cup with Anaheim in the spring of 2007.
At that time Selänne, who had already been thinking about retirement, pondered whether he should call it quits more than ever before. He decided to play on, and the season about to start will be his fourth one after those deliberations. In the interim, he has once retired from international appearances only to reverse his decision for the 2010 Olympics, where he collected a third medal, and earlier this year he surpassed the goal-scoring record of 601 held by Jari Kurri. Currently he is looking for his 607th NHL regular season goal.
“The sort of about-turn that happened before will not happen again. I reckon this will be it”, Selänne says sternly.
“I have done this since I was a little boy, and with great passion. It is difficult to give up something that one enjoys.”
So, is there still some kind of back door lurking there?
“Nope. This is my last year on the ice.”
Helsingin Sanomat / First published in print 27.8.2010
Previously in HS International Edition:
Teemu Selänne bows out after nearly 20 years of hockey internationals (20.5.2008)
Selänne and Anaheim win Stanley Cup (7.6.2007)
Selänne hints he would continue with Anaheim if team shows desire to keep winning (16.6.2010)
Ice Hockey: Teemu Selänne will make it to Olympics (26.1.2010)
Teemu Selänne (Wikipedia)
HEIKKI MIETTINEN / Helsingin Sanomat