Forgive the grainy nature!
Sure it was an empty netter for his 500th goal but give Keith Tkachuk some credit as he approaches a milestone rare for the American hockey player. With one more point, Tkachuk becomes another U.S. born player to reach the milestone along with greats such as Joey Mullen, Pat LaFontaine, Mike Modano, and others. Imagine the thrill of getting to such a lofty level. Now of course many have said he should have been there already.
Tkachuk is generously listed as a rather stout 232 pounds on Yahoo though some have reported he has been pushing nearly 265 or 270 in various training camps. Known as a player who cannot resist food, especially if it is greasy. Many have said that Tkachuk if he had just maintained some kind of better training regimen, would be well over 1000 points by now. Maybe those pundits are indeed right but you cannot deny the talent this player has.
He has had two 50 goal seasons in his career. Tkachuk could also take on the best of them if he had to. Having three 200+ penalty minute seasons and quite a few 100+ is evidence of that very fact. The only knock will be Tkachuk never had a 100 point season but then again neither did Cam Neely and Neely is in the Hockey Hall Of Fame now isn’t he?
I am one who does not care about the off-ice stuff as long as it is not “major trouble” such as Nagano, or actual crimes committed. Sure weight trouble is no laughing matter but it has impacted Tkachuk’s career. However, right now, it seems Tkachuk is on the perfect team right now…a team where he can be a powerful presence in front of the net and do what he has to do to get points. That is of course ideal on the Power Play where out of his 15 points this season….8 are on the man advantage and that includes 7 goals. Really that is Tkachuk now…a power play presence and not that much more (kind of like Brendan Shanahan).
Now there will be players who come along that may be similar like Doug Weight. However few will be quite as interesting or unique as Mr. Tkachuk who many forget was one of those that really helped us win that 1996 World Cup over Team Canada….a proud night for Americans indeed. So here is to you Keith…a hearty salute as you reach 1000 points and a hope for a few more before you end your career.