Monday, April 11, 2016

1995-96 New Jersey Devils Dave Andreychuk Jersey

Drafted 16th overall in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft after playing his junior hockey with the Oshawa Generals, which was highlighted by a 57 goal, 100 point season in 1981-82, Dave Andreychuk began his NHL career with the Buffalo Sabres during the 1982-83 season. He would play the first 11 seasons of his carer with the Sabres, where he was a steady, reliable goal scorer.

andreychuk sabres
Andreychuk played 11 seasons with the Sabres

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, including five seasons in the 30's and 40 or more twice, with a best of 41 goals and 91 points in 1991-92. During the 1992-93 season, he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs after having played 52 games with 29 goals already to his credit.

andreychuk Maple Leafs
Andreycuk set a career high of 54 goals in 1992-93
despite splitting the season between Buffalo and Toronto

He completed the season with Toronto without missing a beat, adding 25 more goals in only 31 games for a career high of 54 divided between Buffalo and Toronto. Andreychuk followed his career best of 54 with 53 goals during his first full season with the Maple Leafs during the 1993-94 season, which included setting a career best with 99 points. 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.

After arriving in New Jersey, having played 61 games with the Maple Leafs, Andreychuk began to record several career milestones, beginning when he scored his 1,000th career point on April 7, 1996 four days before playing in his 1,000th career game on this date in 1996.

During his first full season with the Devils, Andreychuk would score his 500th NHL goal on March 15, 1997 in a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals, becoming the 26th player to reach that important milestone.

andreychuk devils
While with the Devils, Andreychuk reached
1,000 games, 1,000 points and 500 goals

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. In 2002-03 he would reach 1,500 games played to join a very exclusive club. To date, only 15 players have ever reached that level of longevity, as none of them have played any less than 20 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 and 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.

After eliminating the New York Islanders in five, sweeping the Montreal Canadiens and outlasting the Philadelphia Flyers in a seven game series, Tampa Bay was paired with the Calgary Flames in the final.

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, tying a league record.

andreychuk cup
Andreychuk finally reached the summit after
22 seasons of trying to win the Stanley Cup

He would play one more partial season in 2005-06 prior to retiring with 1,639 games played (still 6th all-time), 640 goals, one of 19 players with 600 or more goals and still 14th on the all-time list, 698 assists and 1,338 points, which is currently 29th all-time. He also holds the career record for Most Power Play Goals with 274.

Today's featured jersey is a 1995-96 New Jersey Devils Dave Andreychuk jersey as worn while he played in his 1,000th NHL game on this date in 1996.

Devils then club president and general manager Lou Lamoriello 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 replacing green with black and simplifying their jerseys striping pattern. The franchise has been steadfastly loyal to this design ever since, including the name and number fonts.

They have also refused to introduce any sort of alternate third jersey and  maintained their traditional sweaters even through the transition to the new Reebok jerseys introduced in 2007.

New Jersey Devils 1996-97 jersey photo New Jersey 
Devils 96-97 D A F.png
New Jersey Devils 1996-97 jersey photo New Jersey 
Devils 96-97 D A B.png

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1982-83 Buffalo Sabres Dave Andreychuk jersey as worn during his rookie season in the NHL when he was given the #31, a number more commonly associated with goaltenders. Andreychuk did not wear this number for the entire season, changing later to #29 before adopting his more familiar #25 for his second NHL season.

The Sabres wore this style jersey from their very first day in the NHL back in 1970-71 with no names and a lace up collar. Names on the back arrived in 1977-78 and the following season saw the arrival of a v-neck collar and the Sabres logo repeated on the shoulders. The SandowSK logo first arrived on the back in 1980-81. 1982-83 would be the final season for this precise combination, as the following season the jerseys would be branded as CCM and all the striping would become much bolder.

 photo Buffalo Sabres 1982-83 F jersey.jpg
Buffalo Sabres 1982-83 jersey photo Buffalo Sabres 1982-83 B jersey.jpg
Today's video segment begins with Andreychuk scoring his 500th NHL goal in 1997.

Our next video is Andreychuk finally being able to lift the Stanley Cup after 22 seasons of trying.

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