Born in Hamilton, Ontario on September 29, 1963, Dave Andreychuk enjoyed a long and extremely productive career. Immovable in front of an opposition net, Andreychuk used his size, strength and skill to establish himself as one of the finest left wingers ever to play in the National Hockey League.
A phenomenal junior career saw Andreychuk score 57 goals and contribute 100 points to the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League in 1981-82. That spring, the Buffalo Sabres leapt at the opportunity to draft the big winger 16th overall.
Early the next season, he was promoted to the Sabres from Oshawa and never looked back, although he did compete for Canada in the 1983 World Junior Championships, scoring 6 goals and 5 assists in 7 games on the way to helping his country earn a bronze medal.
Andreychuk was into his 11th season in Buffalo when he was dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs. During his years starring with the Sabres, he produced consistently, highlighted by being selected to play in the 1990 All-Star Game. His best season in Buffalo was 1991-92 when he scored 41 goals and 91 points. In 1986, he was selected to play in the World Championships, and Canada skated away with the bronze medal.
In February 1993, Andreychuk, goaltender Darren Puppa and a first-round draft pick were traded to Toronto for Grant Fuhr and a fifth-round draft choice. His time in Toronto included a sensational 53-goal, 99-point season in 1993-94, good for eighth-best during the regular season, earning selection to the NHL All-Star Game. Andreychuk helped the Leafs advance to the conference final in the springs of 1992 and 1993.
Andreychuk was moved to the New Jersey Devils at the trade deadline in 1996, with Toronto receiving second and third round draft picks in return. He joined the Boston Bruins as a free agent prior to the 1999-2000 season, but at the trade deadline, he was dealt once again, this time as part of the Ray Bourque trade that saw them join the Colorado Avalanche.
Andreychuk returned to the Sabres for the 2000-01 season but then surprised most in the hockey world by signing with the Tampa Bay Lightning for 2001-02, eschewing the opportunity to join a Stanley Cup contender. But he clearly saw a strategy he liked, and his veteran leadership earned the captaincy in 2002-03. That campaign, the Lightning earned a berth in the playoffs for the second time in franchise history. In 2003-04, Andreychuk led the Lightning through the post-season, culminating with a seven-game victory over the Calgary Flames in the Stanley Cup final. Handed the Stanley Cup by commissioner Gary Bettman, Andreychuk hooted as he hoisted the Cup; the team’s first as well as his first. He had gone 22 seasons without winning a Stanley Cup championship, tying the NHL record with Ray Bourque for the longest career before earning the Stanley Cup.
Following the NHL lock-out in 2004-05, Andreychuk returned to the Lightning in 2005-06, but by his 23rd season and after the time away, found it more difficult than ever to make significant contributions on the ice and on January 10, 2006 he was waived by the Lightning, bringing an end to an illustrious career. Tampa Bay installed their former captain as a Community Representative, later promoting him to Vice-President in charge of fans.
Upon his retirement, Dave Andreychuk had played 1,639 regular season games (6th most in NHL history), scoring 640 goals (14th-best in the NHL) and 698 assists for 1,338 points (28th most in NHL history). He was the NHL’s all-time leader in regular season powerplay goals with 274. In 1991-92, he led the league with 28 powerplay goals, and repeated that feat with 32 powerplay markers in 1992-93. In playoff action, Andreychuk added 43 goals, 54 assists and 97 points in 162 games.