The Hockey Hall of Fame inducted seven members into the Class of 2017 on Monday, with former National Hockey League forwards, Dave Andreychuk, Mark Recchi, Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya joining Canadian Women’s team member, Danielle Goyette, Boston Bruins owner, Jeremy Jacobs and college hockey coach Clare Drake.
Andreychuk, played 23 seasons in the NHL between the Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, Bruins, Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning. The 53-year-old, received the call from the Hall of Fame in his ninth year of eligibility. Although that probably pales in comparison to him having to wait until his 22nd season to raise the Stanley Cup.
Andreychuk, captained the Lightning to a Stanley Cup Championship in 2004 said, “I guess with the Stanley Cup it was sweeter to wait that long. You understand the value and how hard it is to achieve. I guess that is kind of the same thing here.”
The six-foot-four, 225-pound forward basically made it a habit to get to the front of the net and wreak havoc on the goalies. In 1,639 games, he put up 640 goals and 698 assists. 274 of his tallies were scored with the man advantage.
Prior to the announcement on Monday, he had been the only 600 career goal scorer, waiting on that elusive call from Toronto.
Andreychuk added, “Nobody starts their career thinking that they are going to be a Hall of Famer. You just want to stay in the league, you want to help your team win, and after it is all done and you look at your numbers and you think that there is a chance and people start to talk about it. But at the same time, it is really out of your hands. I am thankful this day came along for me and my family, and whether it was this year or next year or 10 years from now did not matter to us.”
Drafted by the Sabres with the 16th pick of the 1982 NHL Draft, Andreychuk put up 20 goals, 19 times throughout his career. He also scored 30 in nine seasons, 40 goals four times and 50 twice. His career highs were 54 during the 1992-1993 season with the Maple Leafs and 53 in 1993-1994 also with the Leafs.
Following his second stint with the Sabres, in 2000-2001, he had contemplated retirement, before the Lightning gave him a call. At the 2002 trade deadline, he was offered a chance to be dealt to the Montreal Canadiens, but he declined and two seasons later helped the Bolts raise the Stanley Cup.
He said, “It obviously caps a career for myself, but I think if I had not won the Stanley Cup not much would have changed either. I still played with some great players and made some great friends throughout the years.”
Recchi, played 22 years over the course of his NHL career, with the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Lightning and Bruins. His 577 goals and 956 assists, in 1,841 regular season and playoff games, rank him 12 in the NHL.
All 10 of the retired players ahead of Recchi have already been enshrined into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The other player ahead of him, Jaromir Jagr, is still currently playing. Jagr will pretty much be destined to be inducted in the Hall as well.
The three time Stanley Cup winner, Penguins (1991), Hurricanes (2006) and Bruins (2011) became the oldest player to score a goal in the Stanley Cup Final, when he found the back of the net for the Bruins against the Vancouver Canuks, on June 6, 2011.
Recchi received the call in his fourth year of eligibility. Prior to receiving the call, he had been the only retired player with at least 500 goals and 1,500 not to have his plaque hanging in Toronto.
Two weeks earlier, he and the rest of the front office staff had been on the ice at Bridgestone Arena, in Nashville, Tennessee, celebrating the Penguins Stanley Cup victory. To top off a nice two-month period for him, his son, Cameron had been drafted by the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey and Recchi was also inducted into the British Columbia Hall of Fame, prior to that.
Selanne, began his career with a record breaking, 76-goal and 132-point rookie season. The number 10-overall pick of the Winnipeg Jets in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft made his debut in the 1992 season.
When at the age of 22, when Selanne decided he was ready to leave Finland, the Calgary Flames gave him an offer sheet, which the Jets begrudgingly matched. The rookie scoring record quickly put an end to that displeasure though. Despite being part of a team with five rookies, (Selanne, Alexei Zhamnov, Keith Tkachuk, Sergei Bautin and Evgeny Davydov), Selanne played with the confidence of a veteran.
In 22 seasons between the Jets, Avalanche, Sharks and Anaheim Ducks, he has scored 684 goals and 773 assists in 1,451 games. Selanne wrapped up his career as the Ducks all-time leader in in just about every offensive category. Those include goals (457), points (988), games (966), power-play goals (182), game winning goals (77) and shots (2,964). In 2007, he helped the Ducks bring the first Stanley Cup to Southern California.
The inaugural Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner (1998-1999), also won a Bill Masterton Trophy as a member of the Ducks for the 2005-2006 season.
Selanne added, “It is an amazing feeling. To be honest I was checking the phone to make sure I did not miss the call. I want to thank everybody for this big honor and congratulate the other inductees also. It is a very special group, and I am very honored to be one of them. I was so humbled to get the phone call today.”
He ranks 11th in the NHL in goals (684), 15th in points (1,457), third in power-play goals (255) and third in game winners (110). Over the course of his 22 seasons, he scored 22 regular season hat tricks. Breaking former New York Islanders forward, Mike Bossy’s rookie scoring record helped him win the Calder Trophy in 1993.
Kariya credits Selanne for helping him make it to the Hall of Fame. His former line mate also broke the news to him that the two would be enshrined in the same year.
The original face of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, now known as the Anaheim Ducks, received his bid in his fifth year of eligibility. The 42-year-old, played in 989 games, over 15 seasons, between the Ducks, Avalanche, Predators and St. Louis Blues putting up 482 goals and 587 assists.
The two-time Lady Byng Trophy winner led the Ducks to the Stanley Cup Finals against the Devils in 2003, where his team fell in a hard fought seven game battle. In 1993, he became the very first draft pick in the history of the Ducks franchise, when they selected fourth overall.
He ranks amongst the Ducks franchise leaders in points per game (1.10, first place), power play goals (107 second) and third in scoring, with 300 goals and 339 assists. He put up 100 points in the 1995-1996 and 1998-1999 seasons, while lighting the lamp 50 times during the 1995-1996 season.
Kariya added, “I can’t say this is a dream come true, because never in my wildest dreams did I think this was possible. This is an incredible honor. I am very humbled to be included in this incredible group of people and just so grateful to all of the people who helped me get to this stage.”
At the international level, he helped Team Canada capture the gold in 2002 and the Silver in 1994. He also struck gold at the 1994 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships and silver in 2006. During the 1993 IIHF World Junior Championships he help Canada take home the gold.
Each player received 75 percent of the vote to earn their inductions. The maximum number of former NHLers admitted to the Hall of Fame each year is four.
Hockey Hall of Fame Chairman, Lanny McDonald said, “The Hockey Hall of Fame is proud to welcome these hockey legends as honored members. Their contributions to the game of hockey are well documented and their election to the Hockey Hall of Fame is richly deserved.”
Goyette, won three medals for the Canadian Women’s National Team in the Winter Olympics. She helped her country capture the gold in 2002 in Salt Lake City, Utah and 2006 in Turin, Italy as well as a silver during the 1998 Nagano, Japan games.
She has also helped lead Team Canada to seven gold medals and one silver while playing in the IIHF World Championships.
Goyette said, “The Hockey Hall of Fame is where the people I have looked up to all of my life are enshrined. It will be an amazing honor for me to be with them.”
She was totally unsuspecting of receiving this big accomplishment, when she got the call on Monday that she said, “Honestly, I considered not answering the phone because I saw a Toronto number and I was in the middle of doing something. So, I was hesitant to take the call, and even when I saw it was Mr. Lanny McDonald calling, I still did not think of this right away.”
As it turns out she is glad she decided to answer the call with the good news from McDonald.
Jacobs and Drake both received their selections as part of the Builders category.
Jacobs has owned and served as chairman of the Bruins since 1975. In 2007, he was selected as the Chairman of the Board of Governors for the NHL. He was the winner of the Lester Patrick Award, for his service to hockey in the United States, in 2015.
He said, “Being elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame was the furthest thing from my mind when I purchased this team over 40 years ago. To be honored in the same way as former [ Calgary Flames] governor, Harley Hotchkiss, is truly humbling.”
The Bruins made it to the playoffs for 29 straight seasons from 1967-1968 through 1995-1996. 21 of those seasons were under Jacobs reign. In the 41 seasons, he has owned the Bruins, they found a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 34 times.
His association with the Bruins is the first time that hockey has touched his life, he said, “It is something that I truly enjoyed more than anything I can say because it is a recognition with a class of people that I have known throughout my life. My family was involved in hockey from the day I was born, when they owned the Buffalo Bisons, of the [American Hockey League], many, many, years ago, in the minor leagues.”
One of his fellow inductees, Andreychuk said, “To Mr. Jacobs, we spent a brief time together. The contributions that you have made to the NHL go noticed here today are well-deserved.”
Drake, won six national championships, in 28 seasons at the University of Alberta. He also served behind the bench of the Edmonton Oilers during the 1975-1976 World Hockey Association season and was an assistant coach with the Jets in 1989-1990.
He said, “I am truly humbled to be elected to the Hall of Fame. As a Canadian university hockey coach, this is honor is truly special.”
Washington Capitals head coach, Barry Trotz, Dallas Stars coach, Ken Hitchcock and Maple Leafs bench boss, Mike Babcock consider the 88-year-old Drake as a mentor and big influence in their coaching styles.
Trotz said, “He has had more impact than anybody at improving the coaching in Canada. All those coaching programs he ran. I remember when I used to coach [the University of Manitoba] against Clare’s Alberta, we would be scared to death of their penalty kill. His guys went at people.”
Hitchcock added, “You can go all over the world, China, Japan, Russia, Sweden and just go ask about Clare Drake, and anybody who is a coach over 40 years of age will be able to tell you exactly where they were, what seminar they were at and what he taught.”
All seven honorees will be inducted to the Hall of Fame during the annual ceremony on November 13, 2017 in Toronto.