Four players were inducted Tuesday into the Hockey Hall of Fame: Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin, Adam Oates and Pavel Bure. For the fourth straight year, former Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk was passed over.
It is difficult to argue with Andreychuk's stats. Only one player — Brendan Shanahan — has more goals than Andreychuk's 640 among player who are eligible but not in the Hall. Andreychuk's 640 goals are 14th all-time and third among left wings. He is first all-time with 274 power-play goals.
Andreychuk was captain of a Stanley Cup champion in 2004 with the Lightning, and extended his 23-season career by turning into a gritty and valuable defensive presence and faceoff specialist.
Sometimes, though, the Hall committee (from which players need a minimum 14 of 18 votes to get in) makes players wait. Bure had been eligible since 2006. Former Lightning player Dino Ciccarelli (608 goals, 1,200 points) was eligible in 2002 and not named until 2010.
Sakic, a 12-time All-Star, was elected in his first year of eligibility. He spent his 20-year career with the Avalanche franchise, dating to 1988 when it was in Quebec. He won two Stanley Cups, one Conn Smythe Trophy and one Hart Trophy.
"As a kid I always dreamed about making the NHL, but never really thought at all about the Hockey Hall of Fame," Sakic said in a statement released by the Hall of Fame.
Sundin, also picked in his first year of eligibility, owns many Maple Leafs career records including points (567) and goals (420).
Oates, hired as coach of the Capitals earlier in the day, is sixth on the NHL career assists list with 1,079.
"Obviously a fantastic day. I don't know if that's happened before," he said of being picked for induction and hired as a coach on the same day. "It's just a special, special day for us."
Bure, a six-time All-Star and the 1992 rookie of the year, led the NHL in scoring twice.
Times staff writer Damian Cristodero contributed to this report.