Paul Kariya, who capped a 15-year NHL career with a three-season stint with the St. Louis Blues, will be a Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2017 inductee, it was announced Monday.
He’ll join long-time Anaheim Ducks teammate Teemu Selanne, who was inducted on his first ballot after putting up 1,457 points in his career.
Kariya, long-time teammates with Selanne with the Anaheim Ducks, played 989 games, scored 402 goals and had 989 points in his career. The left winger was drafted No. 4 overall by Anaheim in 1993 and went on to play for four teams during his career including the Ducks, Blues, Predators and Colorado Avalanche.
In 2007, he signed a free agent contract worth $18 million with St. Louis, but his time with the Blues was marked by a rash of injuries he also experienced previously with the Nashville Predators.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
In his first season, he scored 16 goals with 49 assists in 82 games.
But a month into his second season with the Blues, Kariya tore muscles in his leg which forced him out of the lineup for more than two months. Upon his return, he quickly aggravated the injury to the point he required surgery.
He returned to St. Louis the following season to scored his 400th career goal, but never reached the NHL Playoffs wearing The Note.
Kariya had his career cut short by injuries but was a point-a-game player. He considered a free agent contract with Anaheim the following year, but could not get clearance from his doctors to play due to post-concussion syndrome.
He has since been a vocal proponent of safety measures that would reduce the frequency of concussions in the NHL.
Kariya won back-to-back Lady Byng Trophies for his good sportsmanship in 1996 and 1997, played in seven All-Star Games and was an NHL First All-Star Team selection three times with the Ducks. He also played in one Stanley Cup Final (2003) and represented his native Canada in two Olympic Games and three Hockey World Cups.
Selanne and Kariya are joined by Dave Andreychuk, Mark Recchi, women’s star Danielle Goyette, coach Clare Drake and Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs.
Selanne, the “Finnish Flash” had 76 goals as a rookie with Winnipeg in 1992-93 and won the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007.
Recchi (fourth year) and Andreychuk (ninth) were long-overdue additions. Recchi won the Cup three times and is 12th in scoring, and Andreychuk won it once and is 29th.
The Blues extended qualifying offers to five of its restricted free agents on Monday, including Colton Parayko, Magnus Paajarvi, Oskar Sundqvist, Petteri Lindbohm and Jordan Binnington each received qualifying offers from the team.
Without the qualifying offers, the players would become unrestricted free agents Sunday. The team maintains its negotiating rights by extending the offers.
Sundqvist arrived in St. Louis via a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins during the NHL trade Friday. The Blues also received a first-round draft pick in exchange for 27-goal-scorer Ryan Reaves.
The team also re-signed forward Wade Megan to a one-year contract.
Some information was contributed by Associated Press Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno.
Paul Kariya Career Stats