Photo credit: Mitchell Layton
Adam Oates is having a pretty good day.
Earlier Tuesday, Oates was officially named the Capitals’ new head coach. Then, not a half an hour later, it was announced that the legendary playmaker had been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame, which we’re pretty sure has never happened before in the history of the sport.
“Absolutely fantastic day,” Oates — apparently following the talking points of our post — said on a conference call. “I’ve got to go out and play lotto, I think. Just two huge honors. Obviously, I’m very excited about the coaching job and to be called from the Hall of Fame, it’s just a special, special day.”
Oates, along with fellow nominees Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin, Pavel Bure, Rick Jeanneret, and Roy MacGregor, will be inducted in a ceremony held in Toronto on November 12th.
The world-class center, who has been eligible for the Hall of Fame since 2007, was snubbed five times despite his impressive career numbers — he’s sixth all-time in assists (1079) and sixteenth in all-time points (1420). In fact, the only players in NHL history to have have averaged more assists per-game than Oates were Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, and Mario Lemieux. In an interview with The Washington Times’ Stephen Whyno, Oates’ former teammate and roommate, Olie Kolzig, asked what we’ve all been thinking, “What took [the HHOF committee] so long?”
The 49-year-old Weston, Ontario native played 387 games with the Capitals spanning a period of six seasons. During that time, he tallied 363 points, and was the team’s captain from 1999 thru 2001. Oates, who was given the ‘C’ after Dale Hunter retired, will now follow Hunter behind the bench in DC as well.
Oates joins Mike Gartner (2001), Rod Langway (2002), Larry Murphy (2004), Scott Stevens (2007) and Dino Cicarrelli (2010) as Capitals in the Hockey Hall of Fame. In addition, radio voice Ron Weber and former Washington Times beat writer Dave Fay have also been enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Watch as Bill Hay, Jim Gregory, and Pat Quinn make the calls to the four players who will be inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012. Adam answer your phone!