Adjacent to them, there is a wooden summer cottage where Teemu's father, Ilmari, and his wife, Kirsi, live. Teemu's parents divorced when he was 16 and his mother, Liisa, lives in the old family home in Espoo, another Helsinki suburb.
Ilmari and Kirsi move into the bigger home when Teemu and the family leave for California in August.
There is a wooden sauna house--"all Finns have one," Selanne says--and a small dock where Teemu has a speedboat and where Ilmari keeps the sailboat on which he and Kirsi lived for two years in the Mediterranean. At the back of the main house there is a magnificent wooden deck that was built by Teemu's older brother, Panu, a contractor. There is also a six-car garage built by Panu.
Teemu has a twin brother, Paavo, who teaches kindergarten and plays soccer most nights with a group of men who have been friends forever. On the long summer nights, when darkness doesn't come until nearly midnight, Teemu will join his brother and his friends for soccer.
He also plays a lot of tennis. There is a tennis court on Teemu's land and when he hears that Newport Beach's Lindsay Davenport has won Wimbledon, Selanne stops, yells and says to tell her that "I challenge her. I could beat her." Then he laughs and says, "You know I'm kidding, don't you? She's come to some Ducks games, you know."
His New Toy Is a Harley
With his very first paycheck as a professional hockey player, earned more than a decade ago from a Finnish club team, Selanne bought a 1961 Lincoln Continental. "Same car as President John F. Kennedy was riding when he was assassinated," Selanne says.
With the next check, Selanne bought a souped-up Pontiac GTO. "Great car, big engine," Selanne says.
He has arrived home from Helsinki with a new toy, a brand new Harley-Davidson motorcycle. As gravel flies in every direction, two Rottweilers prove no threat as the noise and exhaust send them running away in fear. While they high-tail it from the scene, two blond boys, toddlers with summer tans and looks of total ecstasy, come running.
In this little family, all gathered now to see the new motorcycle. Speed equals smiles.
Ilmari, a car mechanic, rushes to the cycle and hops on. "When I was 15," he says, "I and my two brothers bought a Harley-Davidson. We, the three of us, would ride it to work."
To understand Teemu, you start with Ilmari, straight-backed and sinewy at 62, an adventurer who lived in Africa for four years in the 1980s helping developing African nations build railroads, a car lover and a man who enjoys going fast himself.
"Teemu was always a little small," Ilmari says, "but he was always very fast. From the beginning Teemu loved hockey, but he also played soccer and ice bandy."
Ice bandy, Teemu explains, is a game played with sticks like field hockey sticks and a cloth-type object to aim at a net. By the time Teemu was a teenager he was good enough to be chosen for both the Finnish junior national hockey and soccer teams. He had to make a choice.
"Hockey, no question," Teemu says. Like most Finnish boys, Ilmari says, Teemu had read a book written by Jari Kurri, the first Finn to make it in the NHL. "He read that book," Ilmari says, "and told me that he would do the same thing."
L.A. Freeways More Risky, He Says
Is he not afraid that the Mighty Ducks will be unhappy about this crash, that they might want to protect their investment by demanding he give up the cars? "No," Selanne says. "That would make no sense. It's more dangerous to drive on the L.A. freeways.
"Besides, I wouldn't do it. I wouldn't stop."
At peace and at home, Selanne is immensely more bright-eyed and frisky than the exhausted man who seemed dispirited when the Ducks were swept by the Detroit Red Wings in the playoffs in May.
He says he was "thrilled" when he heard that teammate Paul Kariya signed a new contract.
"Both sides learned a lesson from last time maybe," Selanne says.
Two years ago, a contract dispute between the Ducks and Kariya lasted six months and he missed 32 games before he signed. His new contract, signed last week, is for three years and $30 million.
Last year, Selanne signed a two-year contract extension for $19.5 million. That will keep him in a Mighty Ducks uniform at least through the 2001-02 season.
Selanne says he would like to see the Ducks sign a couple more defensemen. He says that last year's run to the playoffs was a great learning experience. Now it's time for more.
Then Teemu excuses himself. It is the off-season. His sons are begging to be put on the new Harley.
Teemu, Sirpa, Eemil and Eetu hop on. The motorcycle makes a gigantic roar. The dogs again scurry away. The boys clap.
Off the Selannes go, dust and gravel flying, the children in heaven, the father grinning.
Diane Pucin, a Times sports columnist, can be reached at her e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org