Seven members were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Monday.
Teemu Selanne, Paul Kariya, Dave Andreychuk, Mark Recchi, Danielle Goyette and Jeremy Jacobs all gave speeches during their induction.
Michael Cabinet, grandson of Clare Drake, spoke on behalf of his “Gramps.”
Here are some of the key moments from the speeches:
DAVE ANDREYCHUK: “Slow as molasses”
Dave Andreychuk was known more as a plodder than a sprinter. Maybe that’s why he was chosen to deliver his speech first among the seven inductees, he joked.
“My career was kind of slow at times,” he laughed. “But as my final coach (John Tortorella of the Tampa Bay Lightning) said to me, “Slow as molasses. But for some reason, he always gets it done.”
He got it done to the tune of 1,338 points (640 goals, 698 assists).
His parents were steelworkers. His father, Julian, retired at 52 years old and followed him around from hockey city to hockey city after that.
“Every day at 4 p.m. on a game day, he got a call,” Andreychuk said. “We didn’t talk about the game that was going to happen. We would talk about other things.
“I thank you for your support.”
Andreychuk then looked out at the crowd.
“Don’t cry, Dad,” he said.
Too late. Julian was welling up.
Then again, on this night, tears were OK
TEEMU SELANNE: Forever connected with Paul Kariya
Selanne began with Paul Kariya.
“I asked Paul if he would do the speech, but he said I had to do it,” he said. “So let’s try it.”
Selanne said when he was a boy in Finland, had someone told him the career he would have, it would have been hard to believe.
“My goal was to play in the top league in Finland, and my dream was playing in the national team, and my fantasy was the NHL,” he said. “The NHL felt like too far. I didn’t believe I’m going to ever make it, but all those things happened very, very fast. And obviously, there are so many people who have helped so much for this journey to make this possible.”
Selanne thanked many of them, but he ended the way he began.
“There’s one guy I always want to thank,” he said. “It’s this guy, Paul Kariya. Honestly, for me, by far the best player I have ever played [with]. I have learned so much from you.”
They were an odd couple; Selanne outgoing, Kariya reserved. Selanne joked about trying to turn Kariya into a normal person.
“Everything you have done for me, I’m so proud,” he said. “Thank you so much.”
PAUL KARIYA: His vision becomes reality
Kariya thanked mentors from throughout his life and career, starting with Enio Sacilotto, who coached him in midget at Burnaby Winter Club. Sacilotto gave the team a sports visualization tape.
“For the rest of my career,” Kariya said, “I would spend countless hours with my eyes closed, visualizing in my mind being Wayne Gretzky, coming behind the net, setting up Jari Kurri in the slot, or going across the top of the circles like Brett Hull, one-timing a no-look, backhand pass from Adam Oates.
“As I walk through this Hall, and as I look out into the audience tonight, I am reminded how many Hall of Famers influenced the way I tried to play or took me under their wings and taught me what it takes to be a professional on and off the ice. So, thank you to the members of the Hockey Hall of Fame for the inspiration and guidance you gave me.”
Kariya thanked all his teammates, but two in particular.
“Steve Rucchin, who was my center for nine seasons, thank you for doing all the things I couldn’t do on the ice, by forechecking, backchecking, going into the corners or playing defense, just to name a few,” Kariya said. “And Teemu, I simply would not be standing here tonight if I didn’t get the chance to play with you. We will always be brothers, in this life and the next.”
DANIELLE GOYETTE: The influence of Pat Quinn
Goyette had an encounter with the late Pat Quinn at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Goyette won three medals at the Olympics while representing Canada: silver in Nagano in 1998 and gold in Salt Lake City in 2002 and Turin in 2006.
Heading into the 2002 Olympics, the national team had lost eight consecutive games going into the tournament and was not favored to win the gold medal.
While she was with teammate Geraldine Heaney, Goyette recalled a chance meeting with Pat Quinn, who was coach of the Canadian men’s team that year, while he was on a bench smoking a cigar near the athletes’ village. They ended up making a bet with Quinn that if they won the gold medal, he would owe them a cigar.
“He kept his word. After we won gold, we came back a day after wearing our gold medal,” Goyette said. “Trust me, when you win the gold, you want to wear it as much as you can.
“We saw Pat and he said, ‘Girls, come here.’ He said, ‘I’m so proud of you guys. The game last night was amazing, so many penalties yet you stayed focused and were so calm on the bench. And oh, by the way, here.’ He pulled back his jacket and gave us each a cigar and said, ‘Danielle, the guys are going to the gold medal game in a couple games, and I promise you I will tell the guys to play like the girls and they will know what I mean by that.’
“This is when we knew we had a big impression on Canada.”
MARK RECCHI: A man of many teams
Recchi’s evening started with one of his childhood idols, Hall of Fame center Bryan Trottier, presenting him with his Hall of Fame plaque.
Through his 22-year career, Recchi played for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Montreal Canadiens, Carolina Hurricanes, Atlanta Thrashers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins.
His playing days ended on the perfect note, winning the Stanley Cup in 2011 in his home province after he and the Boston Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Arena.
“I could not have asked for a better way to end my career, in British Columbia winning a championship for [Jacobs] for a team that hasn’t won [the Stanley Cup] in 39 years,” said Recchi, a native of Kamloops, British Columbia. “It’s something I’m very proud of.
“What a great way to end my career. It was just incredible.”
Congrats to the Class of 2017 from Hot Country 1035!