On his first shot at the Hockey Hall of Fame, Teemu Selanne has scored, not surprising for someone who tallied 684 NHL goals.
The 46-year-old headlined the class announced Monday. Joining the 10-time All-Star in Toronto are Selanne’s longtime teammate Paul Kariya, Dave Andreychuk, Mark Recchi, Danielle Goyette, and in the builders category Clare Drake and Jeremy Jacobs.
Selanne, nicknamed the Finnish Flash, was the 10th overall pick of the Winnipeg Jets in the 1988 draft. In 1993, he won the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie after he scored a league-leading 76 goals and added 56 assists. He holds NHL records for most goals and points by a rookie.
Selanne never matched that goal total again, but he did lead the league in goals two more times.
Selanne was a fan favorite of the Anaheim franchise, playing for the team from 1996-2001 and again from 2005 until his retirement in 2014. In 2006-07 at the age of 36, he led the Ducks in goals (48) and points (94) on the way to a Stanley Cup title. Anaheim retired his No. 8 in 2015.
“I’m lucky to have played with great people wherever I went in hockey,” Selanne said. “The game is a team effort and I have a long list of those who helped me.”
These days, Selanne owns a restaurant in Laguna Beach, California. He has two sons who play competitive hockey.
Kariya, 42, played alongside Selanne for parts of six seasons with the Ducks, helping hockey grow in Southern California in the 1990s, and then another with Colorado. He is a seven-time All-Star whose career was cut short because of concussions. In 15 seasons with the Mighty Ducks, Avalanche, Predators and Blues he scored 402 goals and had 989 points.
“I didn’t retire willingly,” said Kariya, who won an Olympic gold medal with Canada at the 2002 Olympics. “I would’ve loved to have kept playing. If there was any way of waving a magic wand and getting the opportunity to live through my entire career, the good and the bad, I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
He won a gold medal with Canada in 2002 and was a two-time winner of the Lady Byng Trophy.
“What a tremendous day for our franchise to have two players named 2017 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees!” Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli said in a statement. “Both Teemu and Paul now rightfully take their place among legendary players in the history of the sport. The relationship Teemu has with our fans is unparalleled in professional sports. Paul was the first true face of our franchise and helped put the organization on the map. Congratulations to both!”
Recchi, 49, was the only retired player with at least 500 goals and 1,500 points who was not in the Hall. This was his fourth attempt. He is also 12th all-time in scoring, and every other retired player from 1-28 on the list had already been inducted.
“You can only do so much, and you’ve got to let your numbers and your play dictate where it gets you,” Recchi said. “It was just something where you hope it’s good enough at some point.”
He played 22 seasons for the Penguins, Flyers, Canadiens, Hurricanes, Thrashers, Lightning and Bruins.
The seven-time All-Star won Stanley Cups with the Penguins (1991), Hurricanes (2006) and Bruins (2011).
“It’s an incredible feeling and the icing on the cake after 22 years of playing the game,” Recchi said.
Andreychuk, 53, played 23 seasons for the Sabres, Maple Leafs, Devils, Bruins, Avalanche and Lightning. He scored 30 or more goals nine times.
At 40 in 2004, he finally won a Stanley Cup with the Lightning. He scored 21 goals and added 18 assists that year.
The two-time All-Star was in his ninth year of eligibility for the Hall.
“The years that I have waited make no difference to me,” Andreychuk said. “When I started (in Buffalo) in ’82, I got the privilege of watching Gilbert Perreault score 500 goals and to think that I went by him, it’s mind-boggling.”
Goyette played internationally for Canada. She won gold medals in 2002 and 2006 and silver in 1998. She had 113 goals and 105 assists in 171 international games.
Growing up in Quebec, she was asked why she played a men’s sport and said, “When you love something that much, it doesn’t matter what people say: You just do what you love.”
Drake, who has been called the “dean of coaching,” was head coach of the University of Alberta for 28 years. He has the most victories of any Canadian college coach and has influenced the likes of Mike Babcock, Ken Hitchcock and Barry Trotz. He has received the Order of Hockey in Canada.
Hitchcock said he was relieved Drake is being honored at age 88 and said of his mentor, “There’s never been a person that’s done more for hockey and more for coaches and more for his players than Clare.” Babcock called Drake the John Wooden of Canadian hockey.
“You’re a great man, you did things right, treated people right, won championships and made an impact,” Babcock said. “What more can you ask?”
Jeremy Jacobs has owned the Boston Bruins since 1975 and served as chairman of the NHL Board of Governors since 2007.
He said it was “a total surprise” to be elected and credited his time working at the league level for the honor.
“While our league has changed and grown over the 42-plus years Jeremy has owned the Bruins, he always has focused on further growing our game and strengthening our league,” commissioner Gary Bettman said. “As chairman of our board of governors for the past decade, his priority has been to serve our fans and to make sure our league and its teams are strong.”