Hall of Fame Calls Oates
Former RPI star Adam Oates, who led the Engineers to the 1985 NCAA championship, was named one of four members of the 2012 class of the Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday. Oates will be the 11th former college player to be inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame as a player, joining four who were inducted as builders.
In addition, Oates was also hired for his first NHL head coaching position on Tuesday, taking over the Washington Capitals, a team he once captained.
"Since he joined the NHL after the 1985 championship season, Rensselaer alumnus Adam Oates has had an outstanding career, both as a player and assistant coach," said school President Shirley Ann Jackson. "To see those achievements recognized by being named a head coach in the NHL, and being elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on the same day, speaks volumes about his prominence in the game. We are proud of Adam, and we wish him much success as he begins his new career as a head coach with the Washington Capitals. He is great example of the Rensselaer spirit, on and off the ice."
"Adam is a superb member of our RPI Athletic Family and has set the bar very high for our current student-athletes as they look to their futures beyond Rensselaer," said RPI athletic director Jim Knowlton. "We are proud of his accomplishments, especially the great news of the Hockey Hall of Fame and head coach of the Capitals, and wish him the best of luck as he continues to positively represent the Institute!"
Oates will be the fifth former college player to be inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame in the last four years (full list below). Last season Ed Belfour (North Dakota) and Joe Nieuwendyk (Cornell) were both honored.
His hiring by the Capitals makes Oates the eighth college hockey alum currently serving as an NHL head coach.
"I would like to congratulate Adam on these tremendous accomplishments and wish him the best of luck on his opportunity to be an NHL head coach and on his selection into the Hall," said RPI seventh-year head coach Seth Appert. "He is one of the greatest of all-time to wear the Cherry and White, and these add another chapter to his already impressive hockey career."
In his three years in Troy (1982-85), Oates had 66 goals and 150 assists for 216 points in 98 games, helping the Engineers to an overall record of 85-19-1 and the 1985 NCAA Championship. RPI, which was 35-2-1 in 1985, also won the ECAC Championship in 1984 and 1985.
Oates led the team in assists all three years (33, 57, 60) and was first in points as a sophomore (83) and junior (91).
He set numerous school records, including assists (60 in 1985-85) and points (91 in 1984-85) in a season and assists in a career. Ranked among NCAA's all-time leaders in assists per game in a career (1.53), he is second in school history in single season assists (57 in 1983-84) and single season points (83 in 1983-84). Oates is third in career points and third in assists per game in a career.
The accolades earned by the Weston, Ont., native included first-team All-America in 1983-84 and 1984-85, Hobey Baker Award finalist in 1984-85, first-team All-ECAC in 1984-85, second-team All-ECAC in 1983-84, Most Outstanding Player of the league tournament in 1983-84 and NCAA All-Tournament Team in 1984-85.
Named to the ECAC Hockey All-Decade Team of the 1980s and most recently as one of the league's Top 50 Players All-Time, Oates led ECAC Hockey in overall scoring in 1983-84 (83 points in 38 games) and 1984-85 (91 in 38) and in scoring in league games (49 in 20 games) in 1983-84.
Oates, who was inducted into Rensselaer's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004 and was the first person inducted into the RPI Hockey Ring of Honor (2005), enjoyed a 19-year NHL career, scoring 341 goals with 1,079 assists for 1,420 points in 1,337 contests. He exceeded 100 points in a season four times, including a career-high 142 points with the Boston Bruins in 1993.
A five-time NHL All-Star Game participant and an NHL Second Team All-Star in 1991, Oates retired ranked fifth all time in NHL history in assists (currently 6th) and 13th in points (currently 16th). Additionally, Oates played five years for the Capitals from 1997-2002, serving as both captain and assistant captain. He is also one of two former Rensselaer players to coach in the NHL, joining netminder Kevin Constantine '80, who posted a combined record of 161-155-60 at the helm of San Jose, Pittsburgh and New Jersey from 1993-2002.
Oates takes on the Capitals job after helping lead New Jersey to the Stanley Cup Final as an assistant coach. He also has assistant coaching experience with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
COLLEGIANS IN THE HOCKEY HALL OF FAME
Hobey Baker, Princeton - 1945
Frank Brimsek, St. Cloud State - 1966
Ken Dryden, Cornell - 1983
Tony Esposito, Michigan Tech - 1988
Joe Mullen, Boston College - 2000
Rod Langway, New Hampshire - 2002
Brett Hull, Minnesota Duluth - 2009
Brian Leetch, Boston College - 2009
Ed Belfour, North Dakota - 2011
Joe Nieuwendyk, Cornell - 2011
Adam Oates, RPI - 2012
Herb Brooks, Minnesota - 2006
Harley Hotchkiss, Michigan State - 2006
Lou Lamoriello, Providence (coach) - 2009
John Mariucci, Minnesota - 1985