Once upon a time Craig Janney was a force to be reckoned with in the National Hockey League mostly with the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues. Drafted 13th overall in 1986 in attended Boston College and by the end of the second season (1987) he was one the best players in the nation with 28 goals and 83 points in just 38 games. Tony Hrkac (116 points) took the Hobey that year while playing for North Dakota. Future Hall of Famers and teammate, Brian Leetch and Joe Nieuwendyk were finalists as well as Janney.
As an American he got a bronze medal in the 1985-86 World Junior Championships. He was an important member of the 1991 Canada Cup team. He was the 7th leading scorer in that tournament behind Wayne Gretzky, Steve Larmer, Brett Hull, Mike Modano, Mark Messier, and Paul Coffey. He played for the failed 1988 Olympic team but he did score six points in 5 games.
In a high scoring era he amassed 751 points in 760 games over 11 seasons. In 1993 he had 106 points. The talented pivot retired in 1999 because of blood clots.
On Tuesday the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame will be announcing the class of 2016. Janney’s name should be on there.
Janney saw many of his contemporaries go in before him.
*I kind of thought it passed me by,” said an honest Janney. “To get that phone call was an unbelievable honor. I was very fortunate to play with some amazing goal scorers.”
“Congrats to coach Belisle and CJ. We grew up playing together in Connecticut,” said Brian Leetch, a key member of the 1996 World Cup team that is being inducted.
Another name that should be on there is Karen Thatcher. This is her first year of eligibility and she’s done a lot in the sport. Here’s a look back at her career:
I’m sure the voting is in but if I had a vote these two would be on my list for obvious reasons. Let’s see what happens. I’m sure there will be some online debate.