Lightning to honor Andreychuk with a statue
Soon, Phil Esposito's statue won't be the only one in front of the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The Lightning announced Monday that it will honor former captain Dave Andreychuk with a statue on Ford Thunder Alley. They will unveil the statue in a pre-game ceremony at 6:30 p.m. before playing the Stars April 5. It will air live on CW44.
Andreychuk, now the team's vice president of corporate and community affairs, said he found out a couple months ago.
"Obviously it's a great honor," Andreychuk said. "I was overwhelmed."
The life-size bronze statue of Andreychuk will be located at the entrance to Ford Thunder Alley, just northeast of the intersection at Channelside Drive and Morgan Streets. The statue will depict Andreychuk hoisting the Stanley Cup over his head after the Lightning defeated the Calgary Flames in Game 7 during the 2004 finals. The Andreychuk statue will stand 9-feet tall and weigh approximately 600 pounds. It is being created by Steven Dickey, the renowned artist and sculptor that designed the Phil Esposito statue which graces the entrance to the Times Forum.
Andreychuk said the statue "symbolizes a moment for us," and is "something that the whole community should be proud of."
“The image of captain Dave Andreychuk hoisting the Stanley Cup over his head at center ice is one of the most iconic memories in Lightning history,” Lightning chairman and governor Jeff Vinik said. “We are excited to share this moment with every fan that attends a Lightning home game by honoring Dave with this statue.”
Andreychuk skated in 278 games with the Lightning over the final four seasons of his NHL career, amassing 68 goals and 129 points. He captained the Lightning to the franchise’s first and only Stanley Cup Championship during the 2003-04 season. Andreychuk skated in 1,639 career NHL games, posting 640 goals and 1,338 points and he remains the NHL’s record holder for most power-play goals with 274.
Andreychuk said he was told the statue doesn't mean his jersey won't also be retired at some point, but points out the difference in this honor.
"To me this is eternity this is going to be here for a long time every lighting fan everybody in Tampa Bay is going to see it it's not just in the front of our building but any visitor that comes is going to see it," Andreychuk said. "So can you compare the two? No not really it's just Mr. Vinik philosophy is there are no numbers that are retired and when he announced it when he told us we talked about it to me something that is forever."
Andreychuk pointed out there are only a few of these such statues in the NHL, making it "really cool."
"We want to remember that moment as a community for sure this is a great way to do it," Andreychuk siad. "And ultimately everybody holds the Stanley Cup but at the same time that was my moment and to me and my family that was the ultimate goal but at the same time it symbolizes our communities world championship."