The Hockey Hall of Fame has announced that the Class of 2012 will include Pavel Bure, Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin… and new head coach Adam Oates, having one of the best days ever.
Oates has been eligible for the HOF since 2007 but has been passed over – some would say inexplicably – for Hall of Fame induction despite being 16th all-time in points and one of just eleven players to ever compile at least 1000 assists over the course of his career. He never won a Stanley Cup (and in fact has accumulated more points than any other player without winning one) but was a three time all-star and led the League in assists in three different seasons, including two while with the Caps, the oldest player to lead in that category for two straight years.
His career spanned twenty seasons and seven teams, with stops in Detroit, St. Louis, Boston, Philadelphia, Anaheim, Edmonton and of course Washington. He retired in 2004 and has since served as an assistant coach in both Tampa Bay and most recently the New Jersey Devils.
Congratulations to Adam Oates – make that Coach Oates – on a well-deserved honor. Here’s hoping his wave of good fortune extends to many winning seasons behind the Caps’ bench.