Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya will be reunited in immortality.
The Hockey Hall of Fame announced its 2017 Hall of Fame class on Monday. The players were Teemu Selanne, the brilliant former Winnipeg Jets and Anaheim Ducks forward; Paul Kariya, who was Selanne’s teammate with the Ducks and Colorado Avalanche, a point-per-game player who had his career cut short by concussions; Dave Andreychuk, whose 640 career goals ranks him 14th all-time; and Mark Recchi, whose 1,533 points ranks him 12th all-time; and Danielle Goyette, who twice won Olympic gold for Canada.
Selanne was a lock. He’s 11th all-time in goals with 684. He’s 15th all-time in points with 1,457. His name is on the Stanley Cup. Four Olympic medals have hung around his neck. His Calder Trophy season ranks among the greatest rookie campaigns of all-time, and he also led the League in goals three times. He played for the Winnipeg Jets, San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche and Anaheim Ducks in his 1,451-game career.
Kariya was a pleasant surprise. He was a point-per-game player through 989 games, much of it during the trap years. He his 50 goals in his second season, and has 402 for his career. He was a mesmerizing college player and owns Olympic and world junior gold. Kariya last played in 2009-10 with the St. Louis Blues, finishing his hockey career at 35 years old due to concussions.
Andreychuk scored 640 goals, but many of them were from near the crease. There was a bias against him because he wasn’t seen as a complete player, but in the end, there’s no denying how well he played his role.
Recchi won the war of attrition that is the NHL. The Wrecking Ball played 1,652 games from 1989 through 2011. He was a scoring and winning machine, leading the NHL in assists in 1999-00 while being 12th in career point (1,533) and 20th in career goals (577), many of them scored during the trap years. (Compare that to Dino Ciccarelli, who scored 31 more goals while playing his prime years in the defense-less 1980s.)
We’ll have more on this Hall of Fame class later today.
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