TORONTO | Adam Oates flashed a smile and cracked a joke more than once Sunday when answering questions from fans at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Alongside fellow 2012 inductees Pavel Bure, Joe Sakic and Mats Sundin, the Washington Capitals coach talked about growing up in Toronto, his most memorable NHL fight and the hardest defender to play against.
Here’s a running post of some topics Oates touched on:
On his most memorable fight
“I think I fought my second game. I felt the pressure that I had to and I fought a guy in St. Louis, Charlie Bourgeios, and it was about four seconds. It was at the end of a period so I went into the locker room and all the guys came in, they’re all laughing like ‘Way to go bud.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, way to go.’ “
That was Oct. 25, 1986. According to HockeyFights.com, Oates’ only other NHL fight came Nov. 26, 1986 against Ken Yaremchuk.
On his favorite player and team growing up
“For me obviously growing up I was a Leafs fan and a Chicago Blackhawks fan. Bobby Hull was my idol. So obviously 20 years later I get to play with Brett and meet his dad. What a fabulous experience.”
On being in Toronto for Hall of Fame
“Obviously it’s an incredible feeling being a Toronto kid back in my hometown. Just the memories of riding down the subway with my dad going to Leaf games. Thirty-five years later here you are in this great building and being a part of it, it’s an incredible feeling for me and my family.”
What advice he’d give to kids and parents
“Let ‘em play in the street. Play with your buddies, learn the game. Don’t be an overbearing parent. Let ‘em enjoy it. Don’t take the fun out of the game for ‘em.”
Being a great passer
“I did score a couple goals. I would say every time Brett actually gave it back to me, I got one once in a while.
Who was easier to pass to: Brett Hull or Cam Neely?
“Obviously for me it was Hully. He put me on the map. I thought we had an incredible connection and we were also that age where we felt invincible. It was so much fun playing with him. Looking back it was only a couple years, but it felt like forever in my mind.”
Toughest guys to play against
“I would say Scott Stevens for me. He was very difficult to play against every night and probably would be Doug Gilmour. I really felt like I struggled when I played against him.”