Wednesday, November 14, 2012

1999-00 Washington Capitals Adam Oates Jersey

The second of this year's Hockey Hall of Fame inductees was Adam Oates, a Canadian, who took the less travelled route to the NHL at the time by playing college hockey in the United States. While with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, more commonly known as RPI, he led the Engineers to the 1985 NCAA Championship. He graduated with single season school records for most assists, setting the tone for his NHL career in the process, with 60, points in a season with 91 and career points with 150.

Oates RPI, Oates RPI
Oates celebrates RPI's national championship

After RPI's championship season, Oates signed as an undrafted free agent with the Detroit Red Wings. He would play four seasons in Detroit before being traded to the St. Louis Blues and beginning his journey around the league. Upon his arrival in St. Louis, he would be paired with Brett Hull, a move that enabled him to immediately score over 100 points for the first of four times in his career, a 24 point improvement over his final season with the Red Wings. During his second season in St. Louis, 1990-91, he would accumulate 90 assists despite playing in only 61 games, which allowed him to raise his career best from 102 points up to 115.

Oates Blues, Oates Blues

Following a contract hold out the following year, he was traded to the Boston Bruins. He would show St. Louis the error of their ways with a career high 45 goals and 145 points to finish third in league scoring in 1992-93, a position he would repeat the next season with 32 goals and 80 assists for 112 points.

Oates Bruins, Oates Bruins
Oates during his career best season in 1992-93

The relationship with the Bruins soured and Oates would once more be on the move three seasons later, this time to the Washington Capitals, where he would change his jersey number from #12 to #77 in honor of Bruins teammate Ray Bourque, who remained in Boston.

In Oates first full season in Washington, the Capitals would make it all the way to the 1998 Stanley Cup Finals before falling to his former club, the Red Wings.

Oates Capitals 1998 Finals, Oates Capitals 1998 Finals
Oates shakes hands with Steve Yzerman following the 1998 Stanley Cup Finals

Oates would play six seasons for the Capitals, including being named team captain in 1999. He led the league in assists in 2000-01 and would repeat that feat again the following season, becoming the oldest player to ever do so at age 39. That season would also see him score his 1,000th assist, becoming only the eighth player in NHL history to reach that milestone.

Oates Capitals, Oates Capitals
Oates as captain of the Capitals

However, Oates would once again be traded, finishing the season by playing 14 games with the Philadelphia Flyers. 2002-03 would see Oates return to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second time, now with the Mighty Ducks of Anahiem, before falling in seven games to the New Jersey Devils.

Oates Ducks, Oates Ducks
Oates while with the Mighty Ducks

2003-04 would see him add one last opportunity to add to his sweater collection, as he would dress for his seventh and final club, the Edmonton Oilers. His final career totals would stand at 341 goals and 1079 assists for 1420 points in 1337 games and Oates would play in five NHL All-Star Games. His playmaking ability would see him total more assists in the 1990's than any other player, save for Wayne Gretzky. Oates had the most points of any eligible player not in the Hockey Hall of Fame up until his induction this year.

In addition to being voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame Oates' memorable day continued with him being named head coach of the Washington Capitals, his first NHL head coaching position.

"Obviously, a fantastic day. I don't know if that's happened before," Oates said of being picked for induction and hired as a coach on the same day. "It's just a special, special day for us."
Today's featured jersey is a 1999-00 Washington Capitals Adam Oates jersey. This jersey style was introduced for the 1995-96 season, debuting not only a new eagle logo, but an entirely new color scheme as well. This style was worn for all of Oates' six seasons in Washington.

Washington Capitals 99-00 F jersey, Washington Capitals 99-00 F jersey
Washington Capitals 99-00 F jersey, Washington Capitals 99-00 F jersey
Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1989-90 St. Louis Blues Adam Oates jersey from Oates early days in the NHL, where he rose to prominence as a high scoring playmaker.

This style of Blues jersey can be traced back to the 1984-85 season, when the newly introduced style had "Blues" arched over the Blue Note crest. The red trim arrived a year later and the arched "Blues" was dropped for the 1987-88 season. A subtle change arrived in 1989 when the sharp corners of the crest became rounded, brining us to this exact style as worn by Oates. The Blues had one more tweak to make though, as the names changed from one color to three color for the final two seasons of this style, beginning in 1992-93.

St. Louis Blues 89-90 jersey, St. Louis Blues 89-90 jersey

Here is Oates talking about his favorite memories of playing in St. Louis.

Uh, yea...

And a few less speaking lines this time around...

Finally, here is Oates and other prominent members of the hockey community discussing his career in advance of his upcoming induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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