Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Another first for RPI

It's funny how things work out.

On Tuesday morning, Mark Singelais, writing in the Albany Times-Union, was all but campaigning for former RPI & NHL star Adam Oates to earn induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Oates, who played for Detroit and St. Louis among his 7 NHL stops after being an intregal part of RPI's 1985 NCAA championship team, ended up doubly blessed later in the day. Not only is he going into the Hall, along with Joe Sakic, Pavel Bure, & Mats Sundin, but he was named head coach of the Washington Capitals after spending the last two seasons as an assistant with the New Jersey Devils.

What makes this even more significant is that Oates is the first ex-RPI player to be inducted into the Hall. There weren't too many players on that 1985 team who went into the NHL to start with, as so few players from RPI and/or local rival Union have ever been drafted. Thus, Singelais had the honor to follow up his Tuesday column with a write-up in today's paper documenting Oates' good fortune. Oh, by the way, Oates, according to Singelais' piece today, is the 2nd ex-Engineer to be a NHL head coach. The other is Kevin Constantine, who has coached at San Jose and Pittsburgh. A rare breed, and a rare treat, indeed.

One wonders now what becomes of another RPI alum who became a superstar in the NHL. Will Joey Juneau, who played virtually his entire career in Washington, follow Oates into the Hall down the road? We will have to wait and see.

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