Paul Kariya was officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday. Along with five other inductees, Kariya was joined in the Class of 2017 by long-time Anaheim Ducks teammate, linemate, and former roommate, Teemu Selanne.
Kariya joined The Jim Rome Show Wednesday and talked about his connection to Selanne, and why being inducted into the Hall of Fame with him makes the moment even more special. The 43-year-old said his former winger even gave him one last assist, breaking the news to Kariya that they were both getting enshrined.
“It was actually from Teemu first, he called me, then Lanny McDonald called me, which was appropriate,” Kariya laughed, recalling the phone call that changed his life. “From that moment on, we’ve spending a lot of time together, planning parties and events, and it’s just been an incredible experience for both of us. Were so happy to go in together.”
Kariya and Selanne played 308 games together in Anaheim, totaling 783 points. Kariya talked about that legendary on-ice chemisty that they shared over six seasons with the Ducks.
“It was like playing with a twin. Playing with someone that you knew exactly what they were going to do at any given moment. And Teemu knew exactly what I was going to do at any given moment,” Kariya said. “That gave us an edge. We always felt like we were one step ahead of the guys we were playing against. Even when we’re playing together in the game at the Hall of Fame and it was like we were right back from Day one—nothing has changed. He knew what I was going to do. and I knew what he was going to do. And we had a great time.”
This Sunday, both Kariya and Selanne will be honored by the Ducks at the Honda Center, something Kariya, a seven-time All-Star, knows will be special.
“It’s going to be an emotional night for both of us. For myself, spending nine year in Anaheim. Teemu, spending the bulk of his career in Anaheim. This is home for us. This is our home now, this is where we decided to retire,” Kariya said.
“It’s meant so much to both of us to have the support from the fans, and the people of Orange County, from day one… They allowed us to play the game that we love and to make a living out of it. And they’ve supported hockey in Orange County for almost for 25 years, so we are really appreciative to the fans and this is kind of a way for us to show how thankful we are to them for the support they’ve given us.”