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Five Questions With...

Five Questions with Dave Andreychuk

Lightning VP, Stanley Cup winner discusses fan support, Ovechkin's greatness, Tortorella's growth

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / Staff Writer's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Tampa Bay Lightning vice president of corporate and community affairs, 2004 Stanley Cup-winning captain and 2017 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame Dave Andreychuk.


ST. LOUIS -- Dave Andreychuk knows his days as the all-time NHL leader in power-play goals are numbered.

When Andreychuk retired in 2006, he had scored 274 power-play goals over 23 NHL seasons, and Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin was just getting started as a 20-year-old rookie. Now 34 and in his 15th NHL season, Ovechkin is third in League history with 258 power-play goals, seven behind Brett Hull, who is second with 265, and 16 behind Andreychuk.

With 11 power-play goals this season, Ovechkin could pass Hull before it's over. Andreychuk's record will likely fall next season.

"It's going to happen eventually," Andreychuk said. "I thought about it three or four years ago, thinking with the way that he was going, it's going to happen maybe quicker now than ever. And I'm OK with it."

Andreychuk scored most of his power-play goals from in front of the net on rebounds or deflections. Ovechkin has made a living scoring his from the left circle on his lethal one-timer.

"I didn't get many one-timer goals," said Andreychuk. "But there is something to be said about the way he does it because everybody in the League is trying to do it. Why is he successful and not everybody else?"

Video: Phil Esposito on Dave Andreychuk's induction

Andreychuk believes Ovechkin's success begins with hard work and positioning.

"It's more than just trying to shoot the puck as hard as he can," the 56-year-old said. "It's deception in whether he is going to shoot it or not shoot it. [Lightning forward Steven] Stamkos has that same quality. … It's not [always] top of the circle. The next time it's a little bit lower. It's moving around so that you're always deceptive. It's shooting to the short side or the far side, maybe making a pass off of a one-timer.

"All these things make him who he is."

Tied with Steve Yzerman for ninth in NHL history with 692 goals, Ovechkin already has more in that category than Andreychuk, who is 15th with 640. And though Ovechkin hasn't broken his power-play goal record yet, Andreychuk already considers him the greatest power-play goal scorer in League history.

"If I was to say now, yeah, by far," Andreychuk said. "I played against him, so I understand. Your whole [penalty killing] scheme is to try to get in the shooting lane, try to get your stick in there, and he disrupts a lot of things."

Here are Five Questions with … Dave Andreychuk.


The Lightning had strong fan support when you won the Stanley Cup in 2004, then it faded some when the team didn't have as much success, but have you seen it become stronger than ever over the past few seasons?

"One hundred percent, yeah. It was unfortunate that the lockout (in 2004-05) did come at a bad time for our franchise. With the momentum we created in '04, we lost a lot of steam. But those kids in '04 are the fans now buying tickets, and that's the next generation of fans. We're now in our 27th season. We don't have six generations. We're in our second generation of fans and what our ownership has done in the community has directly resulted in the 224 consecutive sellouts. It's hard to put the two and two together, but I truly believe that the way that [owner Jeff Vinik] has gone out and helped our community, the money he has given in the community has come back for him and it's been cool to see. 

"There's Lightning hats everywhere. That fanbase is growing. It's not just in Tampa now. You know you're a good fanbase when they travel well. You move out of the Tampa area and you're in Washington and you're still a Tampa fan, that's now happening."

Video: 2004 Cup Final, Gm7: Fedotenko becomes unlikely hero


Were the Lightning's struggles earlier this season not surprising because they lost in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season after they won the Presidents' Trophy and what do you think of where they are now after going 12-3-0 in their past 15 games?

"I am totally fine with the adversity that they've had. They'll talk about that. It's hard for that team to not want to be at April 8 now to make amends for what happened last year. The unfortunate thing is you've got to go through 82 games to get back there, and that's been hard for them. But I totally understand it. As fans, we want to get back to that spot. But I think them going through it is going to help them down the long haul. We all went through experiences. 

"We don't win the Stanley Cup in '04. We win it losing to the [New Jersey] Devils the prior year. What we learned, what young guys learned, to win a playoff round and then lose to the Cup champions, we were not ready to win. We saw what it took, and we wanted to get back to there again instantly, but we had to go through 82 games to get there, and that's what this team is going through."


If the playoffs began today, the Lightning would face the Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference First Round. What would a first playoff series between the teams do for the rivalry?

"We've been waiting for that for a while. We've always had that the cross-state games are important. At one time, there was a Governor's Cup that we were playing for in the four-game [regular season] series. That's kind of gotten away, but rivalries start in the playoffs and it would be awesome. Our fans talk about an outdoor game. If Dallas can do it, can we do it? Who should it be against? It should be against Florida. Whether that actually happens or not, we're maybe a few years away from that, but we always look at Florida as that rivalry that we need to build that up."

Video: FLA@TBL: Hedman powers home second goal of the night


What do you think of John Tortorella, who coached the Lightning when you won the Cup, having the Columbus Blue Jackets in a playoff spot again despite losing Sergei Bobrovsky, Artemi Panarin and Matt Duchene as unrestricted free agents last summer and dealing with a host of injuries?

"Unreal. I'm not surprised. I'm really not. He is passionate. He can get players to play for him. Sometimes the tactics aren't what everybody expects, but he has learned how to adapt. He's not yelling at players like he used to. You can't do that anymore. I'm proud of him, I really am. With a franchise that lost a lot and has had to rebuild, he's done a really good job, and it's been fun. Good for him."


There's a statue of you lifting the Stanley Cup outside Amalie Arena that was unveiled in 2014. How strange is it to see that every day?

"I'm still alive (laughs). I still walk by it and I see people taking pictures. Sometimes I'll walk over and take a picture of them. So, it is quite weird. We talked about it just the other day. Somebody asked me about it. I don't look at the statue as myself. I look at the statue as that team, representing that Cup, and I feel like all of our fans and our community, they were part of that. So, that statue represents that season not necessarily me."

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