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Hall of Fame anouncement, 2010-11 schedule make Tuesday a very interesting day

21

June

The Tampa Bay Lightning coach be all over Tuesday's Hall of Fame announcement with former captain Dave Andreychuk a prime candidate with Lightning assistant coach Adam Oates and former Tampa Bay star Dino Ciccarelli.

The 2010-11 schedule also will be released at noon, but we do know the home opener will be Oct. 9 against the Thrashers.

Andreychuk, who missed out on the Hall last year, the first he was eligible, seems to have the credentials. His 640 goals are the most of any eligible player on the Hall Of Fame's web site. His 274 power play goals are a league record and he captained the Lightning's 2004 Stanley Cup team.

Oates, whose contract with Tampa Bay runs out at the end of the month, also leads the list with 1,420 points. Ciccarelli had 608 goals in his career. While only 46 came with Tampa Bay from 1996-98, he had a loyal area following.

Others with a good shot at getting in include Joe Nieuwendyk, Pavel Bure and Doug Gilmour. Pierre Turgeon, John LeClair, Peter Bondra and Eric Lindros are other first-time eligibles. Only four players per year can be elected, according to the Hall of Fame by-laws

There seems to be some strange resistance out there to Andreychuk and Ciccarelli who are the only 600-goal scorers not in the Hall. To be fair, Andreychuk had little chance last year with Brett Hull, Brian Leetch, Luc Robitaille and Steve Yzerman getting in. But Ciccarelli has been eligible since 2002.  

Personally, having watched Andreychuk play for his entire Tampa Bay career, I believe he should be in. The numbers certainly are what they are, but we saw a player who used to be a pure goal scorer transform himself into a face-off specialist as his career wound down while scoring at least 20 goals in three of his four years with the team. And nobody can question the leadership he supplied. 

The announcement is at 3:30 p.m.  

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 12:15am]

    

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