Teemu Selanne, a comeback kid and a promise happily kept

His face lit up. "I could. I'd know the right painkillers. I could tape them up," he said.

When his mother reminded him he had wanted to be an oncologist, he wasn't fazed. "I can take multi jobs and make a bit more profit in my life," he said.

Mature though he is, there's still enough little boy in him to have been awed when Selanne, still sweaty from a postgame workout, came to greet him after the game. "Look at you — you look great," Selanne said, smiling.

Selanne took the boys and Bobby into the locker room, where a jersey with Selanne's No. 8 and the name HERAVI on the back awaited Faryan in Selanne's locker stall. Selanne helped him put it on and roll up the sleeves. It reached down past his knees.

"Is this actually real?" Faryan said, his fingers tracing the letters. "I'm going to keep it as long as I live."

They parted with hugs and promises from Selanne of playoff tickets for the family. Selanne often visits ailing kids here and in Finland, sometimes on his own and sometimes with teammates, but this encounter was different.

"Seeing him again," Selanne said, "it brings goose bumps on my body."

It also brought him a much-needed jolt of energy after a disappointing loss.

"It just shows it's just hockey and there's way bigger things than hockey," Selanne said. "You go home and give hugs to your kids."


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