Welcome back from the long holiday break! Time to put on the jerseys you just received from Santa Claus and head out to Amalie Arena. Montreal (and their fans) are in town as the Lightning kick off a five game homestand. The long homestand is an excellent time to remind you that we here at Raw Charge are asking you to help us get the Captain, Dave Andreychuk, into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
About a month ago we launched the #respect640 campaign on Andreychuk's behalf. This is probably a good time to mention that as of right now, this campaign has yet to be endorsed by him or the Lightning. While we would love to have their endorsement, at this point we would rather have yours.
All you have to do is post a photo supporting Andreychuk's Hall of Fame bid and share it on social media. The first 25 fans that share a photo (make sure to include us @RawCharge) will not only earn our undying love and appreciation, but will also receive this vinyl sticker:
That’s an original, limited-edition, Raw Charge-exclusive sticker. There are a limited number of these available and all you need to do is a snap a photo and share it. In addition to sharing it on social media, we’ll also re-post it here at Raw Charge. You will live forever (or at least until the SBNation servers are invariably hacked and reduced to cyber dust by someguy in his home in New Jersey). [Wait. What? - Acha]
So why did we choose #respect640 as the rallying cry? Because that’s the number of goals that Andreychuk scored in his career. The object of hockey is to score more goals than the other team — and six-hundred and forty times, Andreychuk helped his team accomplish that goal.
Only thirteen players in the history of the league did it more times than he did. Of those thirteen, eleven are in the Hall of Fame. Who still isn’t? Teemu Selanne, who will be elected as soon as he’s eligible, and Jaromir Jagr, who might get elected while he’s still playing in the year 2046.
Of the thirteen players immediately after Andreychuk on the all-time scoring list, eleven of those players are in the Hall of Fame. One is still playing (Jarome Iginla) and the other (Mark Recchi) should be in soon.
No other part of the game helps a team win more than goals do. Skating fast doesn’t win games. Passing really well doesn’t directly win games. Even stopping pucks can’t win a game, it can only prevent a loss. Putting the puck in the back of the net is the essence of the game. In the 26 seasons that he played, he scored 20 goals or more in a season, twice he eclipsed 50 goals in a season.
Andreychuk had the fortune to play a few seasons in the dying days of the Live Puck Era where even a trash can on the ice could score at least 20+ goals. Most of his career was spent, however, in the Dead Puck Era where goal scoring decreased as the size of goaltenders’ equipment increased. Yet he still banged home at least 20 goals a year, every year.
If you start the Dead Puck Era with the 1993-94 season and continue it through 2003-04 (the year before the lost season) then Andreychuk scored at least 20 goals in 9 of those 11 seasons. While consistency itself might not be hall-worthy, the career-long ability to score goals should be.
So starting tonight, let’s have some fun and show the rest of the world why Dave Andreychuk belongs in the Hall of Fame.