Blues veteran and father to two current NHL stars, Keith Tkachuk, was inducted into the St. Louis Blues Hall of Fame this past Friday, joined by fellow left-winger Pavol Demitra and goaltender Mike Liut.
The native of Melrose, Massachusetts played 18 seasons in the NHL, 9 of which were spent with the Blues, where he totaled 543 gams with 208 goals and 219 assists for 427 points. His first stint in St. Louis came in 2000/01 after 5 years with the original Winnipeg Jets and another 5.5 years with the then Phoenix Coyotes, who traded him to the Blues midway through the 2000/01 campaign.
Tkachuk spent 22 total games in Atlanta after being traded, but would spend the rest of his professional career with the Blues before retiring after the 2009/10 season. He completed his time with a total of 1,201 NHL games with 538 goals, 527 assists and 1,065 points. He may have never won a Cup, but not many great players have done what Tkachuk accomplished.
Tkachuk's greatest accomplishment for the Blues is his 3 consecutive 30-goal seasons from 2001-02 to 2003-04 and becoming just the 4th player in franchise history to have over 400 points and more than 600 penalty minutes. Tkachuk mixed a perfect blend of goal-scoring and checking during his time in a Blues sweater.
He was also a 2-time First Team All-Star in 1995 and 1998, and played in 5 ASGs in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2004, and 2009. Being a talented goal scorer, Tkachuk is one of only 5 American-born players in NHL history with more than 500 career goals, and the 6th different American-born player with 1,000+ NHL points.
After hanging up the skates in the 2009-10, NHL offseason, Tkachuk joined the Blues organization's front office, working as their Director of Recruiting. He also became a father to NHL stars Brady and Matthew Tkachuk of the Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers, respectively. Tkachuk also made an appearance at the 2019 NHL All Star Game in St. Louis, which both Brady and Matthew also appeared in.
The one last thing Tkachuk could have to truly be considered an all-time great outside of just being one of the greatest American hockey players ever, opinion-wise, would be an induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Sadly, he has not yet been considered due to his lack of hardware (never won any major individual trophies) and career points totals among other legends of the game (Tkachuk is 71st in career NHL points).
Perhaps one day, he will receive the greatest honor an NHLer can achieve as a member of the organization he played almost a decade for.