The call from the Hall a long time coming for Andreychuk

Read what former Sabres forward Dave Andreychuk had to say with Howard and Jeremy on his selection to the Hockey Hall of Fame

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June 28, 2017 - 10:58 am

Photo: Steve Nesius - Associated Press

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It was a long, nine-year wait for former Buffalo Sabres forward Dave Andreychuk to get a call from Lanny McDonald and the Hockey Hall of Fame. On Monday, Andreychuk did get that call, announcing him as part of the Class of 2017 for the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada.

Andreychuk played in over 1,600 games in the NHL with six different franchises, scoring 640 goals and registering 1,338 career points. Andreychuk is 14th on the all-time goals list, and sits seventh on the all-time games played list with 1,639. It wasn't until his last season in the NHL with the Tampa Bay Lightning that he won a Stanley Cup, after the Lightning beat the Calgary Flames in seven games in the 2003-04 season.

Even with the numbers that Andreychuk put up in his NHL career, many had argued that he would never get into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Andreychuk, however, was always confident that he would find his way into the Hall at some point in his lifetime.

“I kind of figured it was going to happen eventually," Andreychuk said with Howard Simon and Jeremy White on Wednesday on WGR. "The numbers are there and talking to a bunch of guys over the last couple years, I just knew it was going to happen.”

While the wait was hard at first for Andreychuk, he let the process run its course and remained patient for the call from Toronto to come.

“The last few [years] have pretty much been the same," Andreychuk said. "After the first couple of years [of waiting], I think in the next few there were pretty tense moments waiting for that day. But the last couple three or four years have been just kind of business as normal. I really had no idea how the process happens when that call actually comes. I kind of thought it was over, and sure enough, 2:00pm, an hour before, Landy MacDonald calls me. I now know what the process is.”

The Sabres drafted Andreychuk with the 16th overall pick in the 1982 NHL Draft. That year, the Sabres had five of the top-30 picks in the draft. Andreychuk ended up playing the most games of anyone selected in that class, scored the most goals, and finished second behind Doug Gilmour in overall scoring.

Andreychuk spent the majority of his career with the Sabres organization in two different stints. From 1982 to 1993, Andreychuk played 763 games scoring 348 goals and registering 771 points. Andreychuk returned to Buffalo for the 2000-2001 season, scoring 20 goals and registering 33 points in 74 games. He was inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame back in 2008.

Andreychuk is currently with the Lightning organization serving as the team's Vice President of Corporate and Community Affairs. Even though he is busy with the Lighning organization today, he still has a soft spot for Buffalo and the city that kick-started his career.

“Those early days in Buffalo were really, really special for me," Andreychuk said. "I definitely look back on those right away. Those are the guys that got me on a path. I went to Buffalo as an 18 year-old kid and left there when I was 30, but I never really moved out of the area. I grew up there, it's special to me.”

Even to this day, Andreychuk is watching his former team and following their progress. Andreychuk's former teammate Phil Housley just took the head coaching job in Buffalo a few weeks back. Both were part of the 1982 NHL Draft, where Housley was taken by the Sabres with the sixth overall pick.

Andreychuk is very happy that Housley is getting his first chance to coach an NHL team, especially since it is with the Sabres.

“I think it’s a great move. I really do," Andreychuk stated. "Obviously the fans in Buffalo know him, I think he’s ready for that next step. He’s a respected guy that those guys [in the locker room] will play for. He can relate to those younger players that Buffalo has. I’m looking forward to watching him as I always keep my eye on the Buffalo Sabres.”

You can hear the entire Andreychuk interview with Howard and Jeremy below:

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