Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Drafted 16th overall in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft after playing his junior hockey with the Oshawa Generals, Dave Andreychuk began his NHL career with the Buffalo Sabres, where he would play for the first 11 years of his carer. While with the Sabres, he was a steady, reliable goal scorer.
During his first abbreviated season of 43 games, he would score 14 goals, but from then on tally a minimum of 25 goals with a high of 41 in 1991-92 while with Buffalo. During the 1992-93 season, he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
He completed the season with Toronto without missing a beat, totaling a career high 54 goals divided between the two clubs and followed that with 53 goals the following season. Two seasons later Andreychuk would be traded to the New Jersey Devils at the trade deadline.
Now a veteran of 14 NHL seasons, his goal scoring pace was no longer what it had once been in the high scoring 1980's and early 90's with a change in the role he was asked to play, but he continued to score at a steady pace near the 20 goal mark for the remainder of his career.
During his first full season with the Devils, Andreychuk would score his 500th NHL goal on this date in 1997 in a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals, becoming the 26th player to reach that important milestone.
After two more seasons with the Devils, Andreychuk would sign with the Boston Bruins as a free agent for the 1999-00 season, only to be traded late in the season along with Ray Bourque to the Colorado Avalanche. After finishing the year with Colorado, Andreychuk would return to Buffalo as a free agent for the 2000-01 season.
His second stay in Buffalo would be considerably shorter than his first, as he played for the Sabres just one season before moving on to the Tampa Bay Lightning for 2001-02 as a free agent to provide the club with some needed veteran leadership. Steady and reliable as always, Andreychuk would play 82 games that season, followed by 72 and again 82, while scoring 20 or more all three seasons.
While never a threat to win the Stanley Cup with the Sabres, Andreychuk made it as far as the conference finals with Toronto twice (1993 & 1994) and again with Colorado in 2000, but came up short of the finals all three times. Finally, while with Tampa Bay, Andreychuk had his chance in 2004. Coming from behind 3 games to 2, Tampa Bay rallied with a double overtime win on the road in Game 6 and captured the Stanley Cup 2-1 at home in Game 7. As the team captain, Andreychuk had the honor of accepting the cup on behalf of the team, to the delight of many around the league, happy to see the veteran finally reach the pinnacle of the sport after 22 seasons before a championship, tying a league record.
He would play one more partial season in 2005-06 prior to retiring with 1,639 games played (5th all-time), 640 goals, one of 18 players with 600 or more goals and still 13th on the all-time list, 698 assists and 1,338 points, currently 27th all-time. He also holds the career record for Most Power Play Goals with 274.
Today's featured jersey is a 1996-97 New Jersey Devils Dave Andreychuk jersey as worn while he scored his 500th NHL goal on this date in 1997.
Club president and general manager Lou Lamoriello has steadfastly refused to change the now classic Devils jersey. Lamoriello joined the Devils in 1987, inheriting their red and green jerseys in the process. For the 1992-93 season the team changed their color scheme by changing the green to black and simplifying their jerseys striping pattern and have stuck with with look ever since, including the name and number fonts.
They have also refused to introduce any sort of alternate third jersey and were able to maintain their traditional sweaters even through the transition to the new Reebok jerseys introduced in 2007.
Today's video segment begins with Andreychuk scoring his 500th NHL goal on this date in 1997.
Our next video is Andreychuk finally being able to lift the Stanley Cup after 22 seasons of trying.