Long-time Hunter’s Green resident and former Tampa Bay Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk is officially in the National Hockey League (NHL) Hall of Fame.
Andreychuk was formally inducted into the Hall on Nov. 13 at the Allen Lambert Galleria in Toronto, an hour from where he learned to play hockey in Hamilton, Ontario.
“Nobody thinks, ‘I want to be a Hall of Famer,’’’ Andreychuk said during his induction speech. “You think about just trying to play in the NHL, just trying to make your team better.”
Which is exactly what Andreychuk, who was drafted in 1982 by Buffalo, was able to do. While he played more than 1,600 games during his 23 seasons, and scored an NHL-record 273 career power play goals and 640 goals (14th all-time) overall, it was his experience and leadership that was credited with bringing the Lightning its only Stanley Cup in 2004.
A bronze statue of Andreychuk holding the Cup above his head stands outside Amalie Arena, where the Lightning still play.
Hunter’s Green is holding a celebratory party for Andreychuk tonight.
During his Hall of Fame speech, “Andy” thanked his friends and family for years of support.
A handful of Hunter’s Green residents joined him in Toronto for the Hall of Fame weekend, while others cheered him on at Amalie Arena on Nov. 18, when the Lightning honored him.
Andreychuk gave special thanks to his three daughters — “You made my life a lot better” — and his parents Roz and Julian, who attended the induction.
He also gave special thanks to his wife, Sue. “She always had a smile on her face,’’ he said. “When I would come home after a game, whether we won or lost, not much changed.”