That he didn’t win a championship in Boston and left the Bruins’ organization amidst some major acrimony might’ve blurred Adam Oates’ career in black and gold to observers over the years.
But with the announcement today that the former superstar playmaking center would be part of the 2012 induction class for the Hockey Hall of Fame, it’s important to note that Oates is in a rare class of Bruins scorers, and the most productive stretch of his career took place in the Hub.
Oates, Pavel Bure, Mats Sundin and Joe Sakic formed the quartet revealed by the induction committee as this year’s class. It was a big day for Oates, who was also hired as the new head coach of the Washington Capitals.
Oates ranks sixth all-time with 1,079 assists and 16th in points with 1,420. His 499 points for the Bruins is 13th on their list, and his 357 assists rank him ninth all-time. With those 499 points, 35 percent of his career scoring came while with the Bruins.
Some choice remarks Oates made about management’s inability to surround him and some of his better teammates with an NHL-caliber supporting cast in 1996-97 ushered him out the door in a trade with the Capitals and put him on an outcast list with the organization. Let’s hope that with new management personnel in place nearly 20 years later, and with Oates’ partner in crime Cam Neely calling so many of the shots on Causeway Street, Oates gets properly recognized by the Bruins in the months ahead.
The HHOF induction will be held in November at the hall in Toronto.