I'm sure in the back of his mind, Teemu Selanne has been secretly counting down to 600 career NHL goals for a long time now.
From the reaction at the Honda Center, it is safe to assume the fans have been counting down as well.
I've been sitting on the edge of my seat, high up in the nosebleeds, watching pass after pass from overly supportive teammates miss the intended receiver. I've watched as Selanne has been stopped by glove, pad, and blocker.
It's almost as if each missed opportunity made that glorious achievement all the better.
There have been few moments as exciting as seeing the net flutter when career goal No. 600 found its home.
I can't remember the last time I jumped so high. The moisture in my eyes was definite as the team raced from the bench to huddle behind the net where Selanne's smile, always beaming, was bigger than normal.
I thought about what someone would say about that moment—what they were thinking, how hard they were clapping, or screaming until their throats were sore.
It's because of those moments, when great players achieve monumental milestones, that we're all fans. We're all hockey fans supporting the huge saves, the fabulous hits, the assists, the goals, and the moments.
We're the fans who watched as rookie records were broken.
We watched as trades sent a fan favorite to other destinations and back again.
We're the fans who appreciate a player's willingness to continue on through countless injuries (this year alone!).
We watched as he returned to form, proving skeptics wrong.
We watched as he lost.
We watched as he won, as he raised the Cup.
We're the fans who witnessed the 18th NHL player in history score 600 career goals.
Not just any player, but a remarkable athlete—Selanne is a guy who loves his sport and plays with heart.
If there is one thing that I've learned while watching someone like Selanne play hockey, it's that a positive attitude, a desire to achieve, and the mindset that you can do anything will get you far in the quest for excellence.
It's players like Selanne that make aging so unfair. While it seems that the Finnish Flash hasn't slowed a bit, he's bound to hang up the skates and say so long to the NHL for good. When he does that, there is no question that No. 8 will be hanging high in the rafters at Honda Center.
Unfortunately, future generations will only have the stories and the videos of his remarkable goals.
But just like every generation past, there will be more greats, more achievements, more remarkable athletes. The Ducks might just have a few currently on their roster.
I know this for sure, though: I won't skip a beat when I tell my children about the night I lost my voice cheering for Teemu Selanne's 600th career goal. I just hope I have enough wind left to cheer on No. 602 when he passes Jari Kurri.
Please, check out the Anaheim Ducks website where they have broken down the numbers within 600 goals. Also, check out the list they've compiled of all 600 of Selanne's career goals, including the dates, the opponents, and the goalies he beat.