It took a couple of tries on the ballot, but Adam Oates' wait to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame came to an end Monday as part of the Class of 2012.
Taking the stage behind the blanket of a Bruins sweater (there were a few to choose from), Oates appeared to give his speech without the benefit of notes and, amazingly, delivered it without a hitch. He thanked everybody along the way who needed to be thanked, with particular mentions of former teammates Brett Hull in St. Louis then Cam Neely and Ray Bourque in Boston. Those players made huge impacts on his career and life as great friends and teammates, ones he routinely set up as one of the game's greatest play-makers.
Oates also cracked a joke that it was a shame he didn't meet his wife earlier so she would know he was pretty good at this hockey thing. If she didn't know it before, she probably knows it now. They don't induct Average Joes into the Hall.
While he talked about beating the odds of being undrafted and continuing to fight through it to realize his dream, Oates thanks his parents, who were seated next to his wife. At that point Oates got a little choked up, thanking them for what every hockey parent goes through -- loads of travel and commitment to the sport.
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