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Kariya inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame

Former Blue will drop the puck before the Nov. 29 game vs. Anaheim

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

Paul Kariya will drop the puck before the Nov. 29 Blues game against the Anaheim Ducks at Scottrade Center in celebration of his Hockey Hall of Fame induction. Tickets are available now at the Scottrade Center Box Office or online at ticketmaster.com.

ST. LOUIS - On Monday night, Paul Kariya became the latest former Blue to be enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Kariya, who played for St. Louis in the final three seasons of his illustrious career, was officially inducted during a televised ceremony in Toronto on Monday.

Kariya joined Dave Andreychuck, Mark Recchi and close friend Teemu Selanne in the player category in the 2017 Hall of Fame class. Danielle Goyette (player), Clare Drake (builder) and Jeremy Jacobs (builder) was also inducted on Monday.

"When I think about him, I think about how electrifying he was as a player," Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo said of Kariya. "He was one of those guys that could bring you out of your seats with his ability to activate, have speed and attack off the rush. He was a difference-maker every time he was on the ice."

Video: Paul Kariya earns Hockey Hall of Fame honor

Kariya played in 989 NHL regular season games, recording 402 goals and 587 assists (989 points). He played in seven NHL All-Star Games, won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy as the League's most sportsmanlike player in back-to-back seasons and was named a first team all-star in 1996, 1997 and 1999. He also won an Olympic gold medal with Team Canada in 2002.

The prolific superstar was a highly-sought-after free agent when the Blues offered him a three-year contract in 2007. Kariya would sign with the Blues, where he recorded 36 goals and 87 assists (123 points) in 168 regular season games. Those numbers could have been significantly higher if injuries hadn't limited him to just 11 games in 2008-09 - his second season with the club.

Current Blues forward Scottie Upshall said he grew up idolizing Kariya and was happy to get the opportunity to play with him in Nashville.

"Watching his preparation and the way he handled himself as a professional on and off the ice, it was pretty special," Upshall said. "I did a book report on him when I was in Grade 5 or 6," Upshall said. "(It was) a book report (with) a little biography on him. I had magazine pictures taped out and I had his life from him as a kid playing PeeWee hockey in Vancouver, to him in Maine playing for the Black Bears, to World Juniors, Olympics... He was just a very humble guy, just carried his business very professionally and was one heck of a hockey player. It was awesome to be able to play with him. (It's a) well-deserved Hall of Fame induction."

Video: Upshall does book report on Kariya

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