The Tampa Bay Lightning placed Dave Andreychuk on waivers today at 12 p.m. In order to comply with the new collective bargaining agreement, Andreychuk, should he clear waivers, will be assigned to the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League, although the organization will not require him to report. This allows the Lightning to continue pay Andreychuk his 2005 -06 salary. He is also contracted to Tampa Bay for 2006-07.
"When we entered into the contract with David this summer, both sides did so in good faith, recognizing that no one would work harder in the summer preparing for the new season than David," Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Jay Feaster said. "At the same time, both sides understood that it would take some time to work through the impact of missing an entire season. What neither side could foresee was the type of game the 'new NHL' would be upon its return - a game in which speed and quickness carry the day. After giving ourselves half a season to evaluate and analyze, it became clear to us that David's game was not suited to the 'new NHL.'
"John Tortorella and I met with David for almost an hour on Monday and discussed a number of options. Once again, the new CBA limited our options. Were David to retire, the Club would be relieved of its financial obligations under the contract. We felt that was not fair to David and his family and thus, in the end, our only realistic option was to place him on waivers today with the intention of assigning him to Springfield in the AHL once he clears those waivers, but not requiring that he actually report. This enables David to continue being paid this season without having to actually play in the AHL.
"They don't make hockey players like Dave Andreychuk anymore. From the moment he came to Tampa he led by example and he helped our young players understand how to be professionals. There were times early in his tenure in Tampa when he carried the entire team on his back, and there is no doubt that his quest to win a Stanley Cup served as inspiration for his teammates during our Championship run. He will always have a special place in our hearts here in Tampa and in the Lightning organization."
Andreychuk, 42, has appeared in 42 of 43 games this season for the Lightning, recording six goals and 12 assists while averaging 13:25 of ice time per game. In his career he has appeared in 1,639 games (fourth most in NHL history) and is the NHLs all-time leader in power play goals with 274. He ranks second all-time in the NHL among left wings in goals (640), assists (698) and points (1,338), and reached the 20-goal mark for the 19th time in 2003-04, third most in NHL history behind Gordie Howe (22) and Ron Francis (20). His 1,338 career points is tied for 23rd most in NHL history.
In 2004 he realized his dreams when he lifted the Stanley Cup for the first time after 1,597 regular season and 162 playoff games. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound native of Hamilton, Ontario recorded a goal and 13 assists in 23 games during the Lightning's Stanley Cup run, setting a franchise mark for assists by a left wing in a playoff season. During the 2003-04 regular season he was sixth on the team in points (39) and appeared in all 82 games.
Andreychuk was signed as a free agent by the Lightning on July 13, 2001, and was named the seventh captain in team history on September 11, 2002. He became the 14th player in league history to record 600 goals on November 23, 2002 at New Jersey. In his 23 NHL seasons he has skated for Buffalo, Toronto, New Jersey, Boston, Colorado and Tampa Bay.
Originally drafted by Buffalo 16th overall in 1983, Andreychuk has recorded two 50-goal seasons, two 40-goal seasons and an additional five seasons with 30 or more goals. A two-time NHL All-Star (1990, 1994), Andreychuk set career highs with 54 goals in 1992-93 with Buffalo and Toronto and 99 points in both 1992-93 and 1993-94. He recorded a career high of five goals in a game vs. Boston in 1986, and has tallied four goals in a game three times and three goals in a game seven times. Andreychuk also has skated in 162 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, recording 43 goals, 54 assists, 97 points and 162 penalty minutes.