Now that Teemu Selänne has gotten his first Stanley Cup ring, it might be a good time to consider the question of who is the best Finnish hockey player of all time. Jari Kurri is of course the obvious point of comparison. I did some calculations a while back to take into account the scoring environment in which they played and arrived at the conclusion that Selänne's regular season NHL points record is already better than Kurri's - clearly so on a per game basis, but also narrowly in terms of career value. The difference in scoring environment between the '80s and the '90s is that big.

Personally I'd still argue that Kurri is ahead due to his much superior playoffs performances and slightly better defense. Kurri not only played a heck of a lot of playoff games, he was able to raise his game in the playoffs. Still, it's getting close. Selänne needs another season or two at his 2005-2007 level and I might change my mind, especially if one or more of those seasons come with a successful playoff run. It's a testament to Selänne's resilience that this is even a topic for debate. Before the NHL lockout, you wouldn't have thought this would ever become an issue.

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