Monday, December 19, 2011GLENDALE, ARIZONA ---
The Phoenix Coyotes will induct former Coyotes captain Keith Tkachuk into the Ring of Honor this Friday night (Dec. 23) in a pre-game ceremony prior to the Coyotes versus St. Louis Blues game at Jobing.com Arena. Game time is 7:00 p.m.
“We are very pleased to induct Keith into the Coyotes Ring of Honor,” said Coyotes COO Mike Nealy. “Keith was a very important and popular player for our organization who helped launch our franchise in the Valley in 1996. He had an incredible career and is very much deserving of this honor. It should be a special night.”
Tkachuk (#7) will become the sixth player to be inducted into the Coyotes Ring of Honor, joining Wayne Gretzky (99), Bobby Hull (9), Thomas Steen (25), Dale Hawerchuk (10) and Teppo Numminen (27).
Tkachuk was born in Melrose, Massachusetts and was drafted in the first round, 19th overall, by the Winnipeg Jets. He represented the U.S. Olympic team in 1991 and 1992 and played his first full season with the Jets in 1992-93. In 1993-94, he was named team captain and by his fourth NHL season (1995-96), Tkachuk was a 50 goal scorer and had established himself as one of the NHL’s top power forwards.
In his first season with the Coyotes (1996-97), he became the first American-born player to lead the NHL in goals with 52 and also only the fourth player in NHL history to record 50 goals and 200 penalty minutes in a single season. Tkachuk went on to play 10 seasons with the Winnipeg/Phoenix organization, appearing in 640 games and collecting 323-300-623 and 1,508 penalty minutes.
He led the team in scoring four seasons (1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97 and 1997-98) and recorded two 40-goal seasons (1993-94 and 1997-98) and two 50-goal campaigns (1995-96 and 1996-97). While with the Coyotes, he was selected as an NHL All-Star in 1997, 1998 and 1999 and in 1995 and 1998, was named to the NHL’s Second All-Star Team. He ranks second all-time in franchise goals, fifth in assists, fourth in points, second in power play goals and second in game-winning goals and hat tricks. He still holds the franchise record for most career penalty minutes (1,508).
A four-time member of the U.S Olympic Team (1992, 1998, 2002, 2006) and member of the U.S. 1996 World Cup winning team, Tkachuk also played nine seasons with the St. Louis Blues and 18 games with the Atlanta Thrashers after leaving the Coyotes in 2001. While with St. Louis, he recorded six seasons with 25 or more goals and scored 30 goals or more in three consecutive seasons from 2001-2004. He was an NHL All-Star with the Blues in 2004 and 2009.
In 19 NHL seasons with Winnipeg/Phoenix, St. Louis and Atlanta, Tkachuk played in 1,201 games registering 538-527-1,065 and 2,219 penalty minutes. Heading into the 2011-12 season, Tkachuk ranked 30th on the NHL’s all-time goal scoring leaders list (538) and 59th on the NHL’s all-time point leaders list (1,065). The five-time NHL All-Star and four-time U.S. Olympian is one of four U.S. born players (Modano, J. Mullen and Roenick) to score 500-plus NHL goals. He was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in Chicago on December 12, 2011.