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Sports Hockey Hall opens its doors to three Bruins

12:51  14 november  2017
12:51  14 november  2017 Source:   bostonglobe.com

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Former Bruins Mark Recchi and Dave Andreychuk joined owner Jeremy Jacobs as inductees.

Hockey Hall opens its doors to three Bruins - The Boston Globe.

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Hockey Hall of Fame welcomes Class of 2017

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TORONTO — Dave Andreychuk spent only a brief time in Boston, but long enough to realize that he wouldn’t play with anyone better than Ray Bourque.

Only a few months into their stint as teammates on Causeway Street, the two were dealt late in the 1999-2000 season to the Colorado Avalanche, where Bourque a season later would win the lone Stanley Cup of his career.

“I was a throw-in,” said Andreychuk, recalling the trade that stunned Black-and-Gold fans. “Nobody really knows that. But getting traded with Ray Bourque had some perks — they sent a private plane to pick us up.”

Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. © bruce bennett/Getty Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Andreychuk, along with former Bruin Mark Recchi and club owner Jeremy Jacobs, who bought the Bruins in 1975 for a reported $10 million, were among the honorees ushered into the Hockey Hall of Fame here Monday night at the corner of Yonge and Bay streets.

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Hall of Famer, so it ’ s certainly apropos that Recchi will be inducted as part of the 2017 Hall of Fame Class when the Toronto hockey institution opens its doors Bergeron still remembers during the Cup season when the Bruins were in the middle of a three -game losing streak after tough March losses to

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The HHOF class of 2017 also included high-scoring forwards Teemu Selanne (a.k.a. the Finnish Flash) and Paul Kariya, legendary Alberta coach Clare Drake, and Canadian national team star Danielle Goyette, the fifth woman ever inducted into the Hall.

Jacobs, 77, was introduced by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. The long-time league boss said Jacobs has “viewed his involvement with the Bruins as the custodianship of a public trust.”

Such platitudes, of course, are contrary to the long-held belief among Bruins fandom that Jacobs, a multibillionaire concessionaire, has owned the club first and foremost as a business since purchasing it 42 years ago from Storer Broadcasting. But inductions in all halls of fame have a way of bringing out the better angels in everyone.

Jacobs opened his brief acceptance speech by recognizing Peggy, his wife of nearly 60 years, and noting that “behind every successful man is a very surprised mother-in-law.” Not known for his humor, the stoic Jacobs succeeded in drawing the unexpected chuckle from a crowd dotted with many older Hall members, including the likes of Phil Esposito, Cam Neely, Bryan Trottier, Eric Lindros, and many others.

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Giving the voters the ample leeway to vote freely rather than hem and haw over numerous qualified players would at least open the doors to the hall that much wider Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. ET (NBCSN) Washington Capitals at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7:30 p.m. ET (CNBC).

Angela James and Cammi Granato are inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The Toronto native was left off the Canadian team when women’s hockey made its debut at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, an event where Granato and the U.S. team won gold with a victory over Canada.

Kariya, the ex-UMaine Black Bear from Vancouver, delivered the most composed and, at times, eloquent acceptance speech. He was clearly touched by entering the Hall with Selanne, his former teammate in Anaheim. Both ex-Ducks gave great credit to their long-time Anaheim linemate Steve Rucchin, who sat in the audience with a smile as wide as an Orange County freeway.

“He was my center for nine seasons,” said Kariya. “Thank you for doing all the things I couldn’t do on the ice . . . like forechecking, backchecking, going into the corners, or playing defense . . . just to name a few.”

Added Selanne, “Steve has a sore back from carrying us.”

Recchi, these days an assistant coach with the Penguins, punctuated his 22-year career with his Stanley Cup victory with the Bruins in June 2011. He now has five Cup rings (Pittsburgh, Carolina, and Boston as a player, two more in the Pens’ front office).

“Boston is where I ended my career,” said Recchi, who grew up Kamloops, British Columbia. “I couldn’t ask for a better way to end my career than being in British Columbia [Vancouver], winning a championship with Mr. Jacobs. That team hadn’t won in 39 years and that’s something I am very proud of — it was a great way to end my career. It’s just incredible.”

Frank Zamboni is way overdue for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame

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Earlier in the night, as he made his way down the red carpet and into the Hall, the legendary Esposito, among the centerpiece players for the Big Bad Bruins of the ’70s, praised both Recchi and Andreychuk for their prolific scoring careers, which included 640 goals for the towering Andreychuk and 577 for the compact Recchi.

Esposito, now 75, scored 717 goals over his illustrious career and bemoans the fact that scoring in the NHL has become increasingly difficult over the last 20 years.

“I was talking to Gerry about it just yesterday,” said Esposito, referring to ex-Boston goalie Gerry Cheevers. “It’s the bleepin’ goalie equipment. It’s too big.”

Last year, said Esposito, he took the catching glove of his equally famous brother, Hawks goalie Tony Esposito, and compared it to the glove of then-Bolts goalie Ben Bishop. Tony O last played in 1983-84, the game’s equipment still in its leather-and-wood era.

“Tony’s entire glove — the entire glove — fit inside the web of Bishop’s glove,” said the ex-Bruin great. “I mean, c’mon, what’s that?! Does that make any sense?”

Goyette, who grew up in Quebec, recalled how as a young girl she watched the Canadiens on TV every Saturday night.

“After every game, I went outside and tried to make the move of the Guy Lafleur, the Mats Naslund, and any other NHL players playing that night,” she said, mirroring an experience not restricted to any gender, though it took hockey decades to realize that. “They were the ones who inspired me to play the game I love.”

As a young woman, unable to speak English, Goyette moved to Alberta to help launch her international career. For some 20 years, she was a stalwart on the oft dominating Canadian women’s team.

“From ’91 to ’96, none of the players wanted to play with me,” she recalled. “First of all, I couldn’t speak English. I didn’t know systems. I was the kind of player that read and reacted to the game. But one day, when I learned women’s hockey would be at the Olympics in Nagano, my life changed.”

The move to Calgary meant finding work outside of hockey to pay for housing and food.

“Finding a job when you don’t know the language,” she recalled, “is a huge challenge. But I was determined to do anything in my power to be part of the first-ever Canadian women’s team to participate in the Nagano Olympics. I had a dream — a dream to make the national team, a dream to represent my country at world championships, a dream to be the first women’s team to represent Canada in the Olympics. It was the only thing I wanted.”

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