Former Blues Veteran Keith Tkachuk To Be Inducted Into the USA Hockey Hall Of Fame

Keith Tkachuk had a long and successful NHL career, as well as a very successful career in international play. The Massachusetts native was drafted 19th overall in the 1990 entry draft by the Winnipeg Jets and followed them to the desert in 1996.  A trade deadline deal saw him sent to St. Louis in 2001, with whom he spent six seasons until he was part of a trade deadline deal again, this time with the Atlanta Thrashers. After the Thrashers were unceremoniously swept from the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs in 2007, Tkachuk voiced his desire to return to St. Louis where his wife and children were, so the Blues re-signed the UFA. Tkachuk spent three more seasons with the Blues, finally deciding to retire after the 2009-2010 season being hit in the face by a puck that was shot by TJ Oshie. Not only did Walt score a goal on the play, he also lost eight teeth and is still undergoing some reconstructive surgery.

While with the Blues, Tkachuk hit two important milestones: he scored his 500th goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets on April 6th, 2008. He then scored his milestone 1000th point on November 30th, 2009 during a game that was not televised in either St. Louis or Atlanta. Thrashers fans gave him a standing ovation as well as did the Blues fans in attendance that game. 

Walt is just one of four US born players to score 500 goals (538) and finished with 1065 points. Aside from his stellar play in the NHL, Tkachuk also played in four Olympic games, scoring three goals and three assists and winning the silver medal in the 2002 games in Salt Lake City. Most notably, Tkachuk helped the US mount a comeback against Canada in the 1996 World Cup to win the gold medal. Tkachuk was dominant in the tournament, scoring five goals and an assist in six games.

The beloved Blues veteran, a common sight at both Blues and Cardinals games since his retirement, will be joined in the USA Hall of Fame by defenseman Chris Chelios, Gary Suter, Philadelpha Flyers owner Ed Snider, and broadcaster Mike "Doc" Emrick.

For more Blues coverage, please visit SB Nation's St. Louis Blues site, St. Louis Game Time. For more hockey coverage, please visit SB Nation's hockey hub.

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