As a child in Finland,
Dave Andreychuk was told he was too slow to succeed in the NHL.
Ignoring the odds and the doubters, all five enjoyed outstanding careers that led to their induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday in Toronto. Former Canadian college coach Clare Drake and
Andreychuk became the NHL’s career leader with 274 power-play goals, Recchi scored 1,533 points and won the
Kariya and Selanne stole the show, as they did while teammates with the then-Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Kariya thanked those who helped him at every step, including the midget-level coach who helped him visualize “being
Kariya also thanked Selanne, his former linemate and roommate. "I simply would not be standing here tonight if I didn't get the chance to play with you. We will always be brothers, in this life and the next," Kariya said.
Selanne, a six-time Olympian and three-time NHL goalscoring leader, apologized to his twin brother Paavo, who was the goaltender in their childhood games. "I stole your confidence. You stopped playing. But I really needed the confidence," Selanne said.
He also thanked Rucchin as well as the doctor who repaired his knee in 2004 and "gave me a chance to have a happy ending." He didn't forget Kariya, whose serious nature was tempered by Selanne's everyday joy. "I learned so much from you," Selanne said. "I'm always joking that half my salary I played hockey and half I tried to make you close to be normal person. … Thank you."
Canadian writer Cam Cole won the Elmer Ferguson memorial award for excellence in hockey journalism. The family of the late Dave Strader accepted his Foster Hewitt memorial award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.