Four players were inducted Tuesday into the Hockey Hall of Fame: Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin, Adam Oates and Pavel Bure. But 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 of Fame. Andreychuk's 640 goals are 14th all-time and third among left wings. He is first all-time with 274 power-play goals and, interestingly, 17 game-tying goals.
Andreychuk's 1,639 games are sixth all-time and his 1,338 points are 28th. He was captain of a Stanley Cup champion in 2004 with the Lightning, and he extended his 23-season career by turning himself from a pure goal scorer into a gritty and valuable defensive presence and faceoff specialist. And there was story after story from his Lightning teammates extolling his leadership ability.
Sometimes, though, the Hall of Fame committee (from which players need a minimum 14 of 18 votes to get in) makes players wait.
Shanahan was widely considered a lock to get in this year, the first that he was eligible. Bure had been eligible since 2006. Former Lightning player Dino Ciccarelli, with his 608 goals, 1,200 points and zero Stanley Cup titles, was eligible in 2002 and not named until 2010. And somehow coaches Pat Burns and Fred Shero still have not been honored.
Here is the Hall of Fame release about this year's inductees:
TORONTO (June 26, 2012) – Bill Hay, Chairman and CEO of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Jim Gregory and Pat Quinn, Co-Chairmen of the Hockey Hall of
Fame's Selection Committee, announced today Pavel Bure, Adam Oates, Joe Sakic and Mats Sundin have been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in the Player Category. The vote took place today at the annual meeting of the Selection Committee in Toronto.
"The Hockey Hall of Fame is proud to welcome these four hockey legends as Honoured Members," said Jim Gregory. "Their contributions to
the game of hockey are well documented and their election to the Hockey Hall of Fame is richly deserved."
Pavel Bure, a native of Moscow, Russia, joined the Vancouver Canucks for the 1991-92 NHL season and that season won the Calder Trophy as the
NHL's Rookie of the Year. A six-time NHL All-Star, he was named to the first team in 1994. As a Florida Panther, he was the NHL's top goal scorer
for two consecutive seasons, from 1999 to 2001, before finishing his career with the New York Rangers in 2003.
"It is a tremendous honour to be selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame," said Bure. "Growing up I never even thought I would be able to play
in the NHL, much less make it into the Hockey Hall of Fame."
Adams Oates played three seasons with RPI of the ECAC before signing as an undrafted free agent with the Detroit Red Wings in 1985. He went on
to play 19 NHL seasons with seven teams, including four 100-plus point seasons. The sixth all-time NHL career leader in assists with 1,063, Oates
retired in 2004.
"Growing up I was a guy who was kind of overlooked and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to go to RPI and have the time for my
game to mature," said Oates. "This is a tremendous honour and I look back and realize how lucky I was to have great coaches to help me along the way."
Joe Sakic grew up in Burnaby, British Columbia, before starring with the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League, winning the CHL's
Player of the Year Award in in 1987-88. Drafted 15th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1987 Entry Draft, Joe moved with the team to Colorado and went on to play his entire 20-year career with the same organization.
Sakic captained the team for 17 seasons, second longest in NHL history and won Stanley Cups in 1996 and 2001. An NHL First Team All-Star on three
occasions, Sakic also played for Canada at three Olympic Games, winning gold and being named MVP in 2002.
"As a kid I always dreamed about making the NHL, but never really thought at all about the Hockey Hall of Fame," said Sakic. "I was
fortunate to play 20 seasons, which gave me the opportunity to build on my list of accomplishments. Having great teammates and coaches was a key
component of this."
Mats Sundin was born in Bromma, Sweden and was the first European born player to be drafted first overall in the NHL Entry Draft, in 1989 by
the Quebec Nordiques. Mats spent 13 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, becoming the franchise's all-time leader in goals with 420 and assists with
567. Sundin is the first Swedish-born player to reach 1,000 points in the NHL. He represented his home country internationally on 14 occasions, with
the culmination being an Olympic gold medal in 2006.
"Three years have passed since I retired and it makes me realize how privileged I was to play my entire career in Canada, where hockey really
matters," said Sundin. "Having my hobby and love for a sport become my livelihood really allowed me to live out my dream."
The 2012 Induction Celebration will be held on Monday, November 12th at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. For more information regarding the
2012 Induction Weekend/Celebration, visit http://www.hhof.com.
Posted by Damian Cristodero at 4:30:07 pm on June 26, 2012