Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Lightning put Andreychuk out to pasture

42-year-old centre Dave Andreychuk was put on the waiver wire today by the Tampa Bay Lightning, and barring another team picking him up, will finally end what has been a most impressive 24-year career. Boltsmag has a good recap of all the Andreychuk hijinks here.

What's shocking is that the Lightning couldn't find some place for Andreychuk to ride out this season, as, unlike the recently waived Alexander Mogilny, he makes considerably small coin at just $800,000. A classy player who put in a few tough seasons before leading Tampa Bay to the Stanley Cup as team captain, Andreychuk was a big part of the team's first-ever championship run.

It's hard to fathom his play has slipped that much since June of 2004.

It's true that he is an unsightly -13 this season, but the team has had so many problems this season, it seems uncouth to pin it all on Andreychuk. On the plus side, he leads Tampa Bay in faceoff percentage at 54.4 per cent.

Tom Benjamin talked about Andreychuk in August when he resigned with the Lightning, and it seems his prediction — "He still can't skate. He won't last for more than another couple of years. I'm sure of it" — has finally come true.

Regardless of how he goes out, Andreychuk's headed to the Hall of Fame, to be sure.

Career noteables
  • 4th overall in games played (1,639)
  • 11th overall in goals (640)
  • 43rd overall in assists (698)
  • 23rd overall in points (1,338)


At 12:08 p.m., January 11, 2006, Blogger alyosha mcbain said...

It's a sad day when a guy like Andreychuk leaves the game. He has perenially been an underrated player, and even when the game slowed down in the late 90's and early aughts he still could put the puck in the net. He could beat a team with a goal, a draw, a hit, or just solid defensive positioning. He was a complete hockey player.

He never could skate, but did it really matter? I'm glad to see this blog supports his candidacy for the Hall of Fame. It's amazing how guys like James Patrick, Steve Yzerman, Mark Messier, Chris Chelios, and Andreychuk have lasted 20-plus years in this game. Anyone who plays this game for that long a time deserves much respect. Maybe they all found out Gordie Howe's secret to longevity....


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