The seven inductees are NHLers Teemu Selanne, Dave Andreychuk, Mark Recchi and Paul Kariya; women’s ice hockey player Danielle Goyette; Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs; and college hockey coach Clare Drake. The latter two will be inducted as builders.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Selanne said via TSN. “To be honest, I was checking the phone to make sure I didn’t miss the call.”
The Finnish Flash was one of the most dynamic players to ever lace the skates. He set an NHL record for rookies with 76 goals in 1992-1993 and has 684 career goals in 1,451 regular season games. In 130 playoff games, he has 44 goals and 44 assists for a total of 88 points. He secured the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy in 1998-1999, its first year of existence, and won the Bill Masterton Trophy in 2005-2006.
Andreychuk was captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning when they won the Stanley Cup in 2004 and was the only player with at least 600 goals not in the Hall. The Hamilton native was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres 16th overall in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft and went on to play 1,639 regular season games with the Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, and Lightning.
Kamloops’ Recchi was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fourth round of the 1988 NHL Entry Draft and went on to play in 1,652 regular season games. He has 577 career regular season goals and 61 goals in 189 playoff games. He won the Cup with three teams throughout his 22-year career.
“I can’t thank the selection committee enough for this recognition,” Recchi said. “It’s an incredible feeling and the icing on the cake after 22 years of playing the game.”
Kariya joins his buddy Selanne in the Hall. He was drafted by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks fourth overall in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft but only skated 989 career games with the Ducks, Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators, and St. Louis Blues. Kariya had 402 goals over the course of his career, with 39 points in 46 playoff games.
Goyette is a Canadian hockey legend. She has a pile of medals under her belt and was a member of Canada’s national team from 1991 to 2008. She skated in 172 international matches and won eight world championships to go with 20 gold medals. A member of the Quebec Sports Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Game, Goyette may be best remembered for her heroics in Nagano in 1998.
“The Hockey Hall of Fame is where the people I have looked up to all my life are enshrined,” Goyette said. “It will be an amazing honour for me to be with them.”
Jacobs has been the owner of the Bruins since 1975 and was named chairman of the NHL’s Board of Governors in 2007. He scooped the Lester Patrick Award in 2015.
Drake won six championships at the national level as coach at the University of Alberta and was bench boss for the Edmonton Oilers in 1975-1976 when they were part of the WHA.
The Hockey Hall of Fame is allowed a maximum of four NHLers each year and each player received at least 75 percent of the vote. That partially explains why there were certain omissions, like Daniel Alfredsson of the Ottawa Senators.
Alfie’s name was making the rounds on social media as disgruntled fans saw him as being “passed over” in his first year of eligibility. But this likely came down to a few factors, as Selanne was always going to be the headliner of this year’s class and he was almost always going to be the only first-year forward to make it in.
Alfredsson will find his name enshrined in the Hall eventually, but Senators fans will just have to wait.