Tampa Bay Lightning F Dave Andreychuk Snubbed By The Hockey Hall Of Fame


Former Tampa Bay Lightning captain and Stanley Cup Champion Dave Andreychuk has been snubbed once again by the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Every year, some of the greatest players to ever grace the ice in the National Hockey League are recognized with a nomination to join the legends of yesteryear in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, this time of year is especially frustrating for Tampa Bay Lightning fans. For Bolts fans, this time of the year has become synonymous with frustration.

Earlier today, the players being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the Class of 2016 were named. What is the one constant in this year’s class and the many classes that have come before? There is one name conveniently missing from the list, former Tampa Bay Lightning captain and Stanley Cup Champion Dave Andreychuk.

Philadelphia Flyers great Eric Lindros, Calgary Flames winger Sergei Makarov, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Rogie Vachon, and Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Pat Quinn were named to the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2016.

While we take absolutely nothing away from the contributions to the game each of the aforementioned players made during their time in the league, but we fail to see how a player like Andreychuk who has contributed so much to the game of hockey and such a plethora of veteran experience can continue to be passed over year after year after year.

Before we get into the legacy of Dave Andreychuk, let’s take a quick look at the other players who are being inducted this year. The first person on our list is Eric Lindros. Over the course of his 12-season NHL career, Lindros played in a total of 760 games. In that amount of time, he would score 372 goals and 493 assists for a total of 865 points along with a plus-215 rating.

While we will concede these are some pretty stellar numbers there are two things working against him that we believe should have put him behind Dave Andreychuk in terms of making his way into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Despite the fact that he never had his name engraved on Lord Stanley’s Cup, there are comparisons to a young Tampa Bay Lightning player that don’t exactly bode well for either one of them and their respective legacies.

Lindros was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. Unfortunately for the Nordiques, and the reputation of the National Hockey League, due to a longstanding disagreement between Lindros and Nordiques President Marcel Aubut, Lindros flat out refused to report to the Nordiques. It took an NHL Arbitrator getting involved before the Nordiques could come to terms with another team on Lindros’ trade.

Who does this sound like? It sounds quite a bit like the absolute fiasco the Tampa Bay Lightning had with rookie forward Jonathan Drouin when he decided to turn his contract struggles into a public spectacle that dissolved into Drouin taking his skates and going home, forcing Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager to suspend him indefinitely without pay.

Thankfully, there was a much more pleasant ending for the Drouin saga, but to have that sort of comparison thrown upon you is not good for your everlasting legacy. Given Lindros’ actions and his complete and utter refusal to follow the rules and do the right thing, especially as an untested rookie, sets a horrible example for the future hockey players of the world. Not exactly someone I would want in my Hall of Fame. Then again, this is why we’re not on the 18-person committee.

When it comes down to it, we have no issues with Sergei Makarov, Rogatien Vachon, or Pat Quinn. Each of them has made contributions to the game of hockey worthy of having their name forever entered into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Do they deserve to be in the Hockey Hall of Fame? Certainly. Do they deserve to be inducted before Dave Andrechuk? Probably not.

Dave Andreychuk spent a total of 27 seasons in the National Hockey League. After being drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft, Andreychuk would go on to play in 1.639 games in the National Hockey League. In that amount of time, Andreychuk would bring home 640 goals and 698 assists for a total of 1.338 points alongside a plus-38 rating.

While Andreychuk would see much success in his time with the Sabres, the Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, Boston Bruins, and the Colorado Avalanche, the veteran winger got his first real taste of victory after becoming a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Just one season after joining the team, Andreychuk would become the captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning. After taking the reins, Andreychuk led the Lightning to their first Stanley Cup Playoffs appearance in seven seasons. What would happen just one season after that? Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk would lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a gripping Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals where the Lightning would defeat the Calgary Flames to win the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history.

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Unfortunately, the Lightning’s victory was almost bittersweet. Immediately after the Lightning won the Stanley Cup, the NHL would lose an entire season thanks to one of Commissioner Gary Bettman’s many lockouts. Andreychuk would return to the Lightning in the 2005-06 season, but after playing in just half of the games that season, Andreychuk elected to retire from on-ice competition and transition to the next stage in the NHL career.

If you look at the National Hockey League’s all-time leading goal scorers, one of the names you’ll quickly find is that of the former Lightning captain. Dave Andreychuk comes in 28th in the NHL in terms for points scorers by forwards. Ahead of Andreychuk on the list are some other notable Tampa Bay Lightning names. Steve Yzerman comes in at Number Seven on the list followed by Lightning founder Phil Esposito in the 10th spot.

Andreychuk also finds his name listed among players like “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky, the “Beast of the South” Jaromir Jagr, who is still tearing up the ice as a member of the Florida Panthers, Mario Lemieux, Stan Mikita, Teemu Selanne, Luc Robitaille, Mike Modano, and more.

Next: Tampa Bay Lightning 2016 NHL Draft Recap

It seems as if there are things in this world we are not meant to understand. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay Lightning fans, it seems Dave Andreychuk not yet making his way into the Hockey Hall of Fame is one of those things. If you are one of those people who choose to look on the bright side of things, there is always next year. Let’s just hope next year we are having a very different conversation.