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A look at the Hall-of-Fame career of Adam Oates

Former Bruins’€™ great Adam Oates was named the head coach of the Capitals and inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday in what will certainly be a day he will never forget.

Oates, who is sixth all-time in assists, spent 19 years in the NHL [1] with seven different teams, including the Red Wings, Blues, Bruins, Capitals, Flyers, Mighty Ducks and Oilers. While Oates is a 5-time all-star and recognized as one of the greatest playmakers in the modern NHL [2] era, he never won a Stanley Cup [3] in any of those 19 seasons.

However, Oates had many other highlights throughout his illustrious hockey career. Here is a list of Oates’€™ top-five highlights as a hockey player.

5) 1985 was a great year for Oates, who led his RPI hockey team to an NCAA [4] championship and signed the richest rookie contract to that date (four years, $1 million) with the Red Wings. Oates broke school records that season with most assists in a season (60), and most points in a season (91) while scoring 31 goals in only 38 games. Oates was an NCAA [5] first team All-American that season in which he cemented himself as one of the greatest college hockey players of all time.

4) In 2001-02, the 39-year-old Oates became the oldest player to lead the NHL [1] in assists in a single season, when he finished the regular season with 64 of them in 80 games between the Capitals and the Flyers. Oates led the league in assists by a wide margin, as the second-best assist-man in the league was Jason Allison with 55. While Oates was traded to a Stanley Cup [3] contender in the Flyers (the second seed in the Eastern Conference), his team was eliminated in the first round by the Senators in five games, destroying a chance at the cup for the aging star.

3) Oates had his best chance at a Stanley Cup in his second-to-last season in the NHL [2] with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, when his team reached Game 7 in the Stanley Cup finals only to fall to the Devils 3-0. Oates was tied with Petr Skyora for his team’€™s lead in scoring during the playoffs with four goals and nine assists in 21 games, but despite his effort, along with that of Conn Smythe trophy winner Jean-Sebastien Giguere, the Mighty Ducks could not get Oates his long-awaited Stanley Cup.

2) Oates teamed up with Brett Hull in the 1990-91 season to become one of the most dominant two-player tandems in NHL history. The ‘€œHull and Oates’€ combination combined for 246 points that season, and Hull won the Hart trophy during a year he scored 86 goals (an all-time record for right wingers). Oates scored 25 goals and tallied 90 assists in only 61 games that season, to finish third in points that season behind only Wayne Gretzky [6] (163) and Hull (131). However, had he been healthy all season, he and Hull could have only added to already astounding production that year.

1) Oates’€™ best season in the NHL came with the Bruins in 1992-93, when he scored a career high 142 points (45 goals, 97 assists). With Cam Neely [7] still suffering from his devastating knee injury, Oates, along with Joe Juneau and Ray Bourque [8], carried the Bruins to a first seed in the Eastern Conference. However, the Bruins would eventually get swept by the Sabres in the first round of the playoffs despite Oates’€™ team-leading nine assists in four games.