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Caps coach Adam Oates elected to Hockey Hall of Fame

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** FILE ** Washington Capitals center Adam Oates skates into position for a faceoff against the Minnesota Wild at the MCI Center in Washington in 2002. (The Washington Times) ** FILE ** Washington Capitals center Adam Oates skates into position for a faceoff against the Minnesota Wild at the MCI Center in Washington in 2002. (The Washington Times)

It’s a good day for Adam Oates. Hours after officially being named coach of the Washington Capitals, he was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2012.

“Definitely, I think it would have to be a first where you get a head coaching job and think that’s the highlight of your day and then turn around and it’s announced that you are being elected into the hall of fame,” ex-teammate Olie Kolzig said. “He says he was going to go out and play the Powerball now. It’s unbelievable. It’s definitely deserved. You can kind of say, what took them so long?”

Oates played 1,337 NHL games over 19 seasons and put up 341 goals and 1,079 points. He spent time with the Caps, Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Edmonton Oilers.

“Absolutely fantastic day. I don’t know if that’s ever happened before,” Oates said. “I’ve got to go out and play lotto, I think. Just two huge honors. Obviously I’m very excited about the coaching job and to be called from the hall of fame, it’s just a special, special day for us.”

“Honestly this presence in that locker room, he was always one of the leaders,” friend and ex-teammate Peter Bondra said. “At the same time, his time what he had on the ice, it was just amazing. I definitely benefit to play with him for a couple years.”

Joe Sakic, Pavel Bure and Mats Sundin were the others elected Tuesday.

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