Dave Andreychuk heading to Hall of Fame where he belongs

Left-winger Dave Andreychuk of Hamilton, Ontario has finally been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame after being a member of the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame since 2008. After years of not knowing if he’d be recognized for his on-ice achievements, the 53-year-old found out earlier this summer that he’ll be inducted on November 13th along with fellow forwards Mark Recchi and Paul Kariya of Canada and Teemu Selanne of Finland. Andreychuk played 1,639 regular-season contests in the NHL with Buffalo, Toronto, New Jersey, Boston, Colorado and the Tampa Bay Lightning and is the all-time league leader when it comes to power play goals at 274.

Andreychuk was originally drafted by Buffalo from the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League back in the summer of 1982 with the 16th pick overall. He made his debut with the Sabres in the 1982/83 campaign and spent 11 years with the team before being dealt to Toronto in 1993. Andreychuk played with centre Doug Gilmour most of the time with the Leafs and they became one of the highest-scoring duos in the league. Andreychuk was traded to the Devils in 1995/96 and played four years with the club before moving on to Boston, Colorado and back to Buffalo Sabres for short stints.

The big winger then signed with Tampa and played with the club from 2001/02 to 2005/06 while leading the squad to the Stanley Cup in the 2003/04 campaign as its captain. The Lightning ousted the Calgary Flames in seven games that year for the club’s one and only league championship. The win came a full 22 years and 1,597 regular-season contests after Andreychuk made his NHL debut. His last season came in 2005/06 before hanging up his skates for good. Personally, his most productive season came in 1993/94 when he scored 99 points for the Maple Leafs on 53 goals and 46 assists.

However, Andreychuk felt a connection in Tampa Bay and returned to the franchise in 2006 as a team ambassador for community relations and still works in the front office for the club. Fans and politicians in his hometown of Hamilton never forgot him though and the city renamed the old Mountain Arena after him as it’s now called the Dave Andreychuk Mountain Arena and Skating Centre. Andreychuk had an excellent career and many fans feel he should have been inducted into the Hall of Fame years ago. His 1,639 regular-season games played rank sixth in NHL history while his 640 goals are 14th all-time and his 1,338 points tie him for 28th overall

As mentioned, his 274 power play goals are a league record with 28 of them coming in the 1991/92 season and 32 more being added in 1992/93 to lead the league both years. He had five seasons of 30 or more goals, had two with at least 40 and broke the 50-goal mark on two occasions. Andreychuk also had 10 other seasons in which he scored at least 20 goals. He didn’t shy away in the playoffs either as the power-play specialist scored 43 goals and 54 assists for 97 points in 162 outings. So now, just over a decade after retiring from the NHL, one of the league’s all-time good guys is finally getting his due.