This morning, almost everyone in the hockey world knew that former Ducks great Teemu Selanne’s name would be annoucned as the newest member of the Hockey Hall Of Fame.
What many weren’t sure of was whether or not his long time linemate, Paul Kariya, would join him in the Hall.
It was almost poetic during that Monday afternoon, that the Hockey Hall Of Fame announced its 2017 class which included both Selanne and Kariya.
Selanne was inducted in his first year of eligibility, while Kariya was inducted in his 4th year of eligibility. The electrifying duo created an entire generation of hockey fans in Southern California and helped legitimize a Disney-owned team that many in the traditional hockey world considered to be more of a marketing gimmick than a bonafide NHL team.
Selanne is ranked 15th all-time in points with 1457 and 11th all-time in goals with 684 in 1451 total games played. He scored 988 of those points and 457 of those goals with the Ducks, also playing for the Winnipeg Jets (where he scored a rookie NHL-record 76 goals), San Jose Sharks, and Colorado Avalanche.
Kariya was the Ducks first every Entry Draft pick at 4th overall in the 1993 selection. He would go on to play for Anaheim from 1994-2003, captaining them from 1996 before his unexpected departure to join Selanne in Colorado, who had been traded 2 years earlier, in his quest for a Stanley Cup.
Kariya was exactly a point-per-game player in his career, having scored 989 points (402G, 587A) in 989 games. 669 of those points game during his 9-year tenure with Anaheim. In addition to playing for the Colorado Avalanche, Kariya was also a member of the St. Louis Blues and the Nashville Predators.
The explosive center’s career was cut short after the 2009-2010 season due to concussions sustained throughout his career. The shortened career was the main point of contention against Kariya’s Hall Of Fame candidacy, but it was determined that his impact on the game as well as his immense accomplishments in such a relatively short amount of time earned him a spot.
Selanne and Kariya join Dave Andreychuk, Mark Recchi, Danielle Goyette, Clare Drake, and Jeremy Jacobs as 2017 inductees.
The ceremony and official inductions will take place in at the Hockey Hall Of Fame in Toronto in November.