Kelly Hrudey. Where do I start? Kelly was definitely one of my favorite hockey players. He deserves to be honored as one of the greatest Sharks, because he was a great person on and off the ice.
Name: Kelly Stephen Hrudey
Weight: 190 lbs
Born: 1/13/61 in Edmonton, Alberta
Drafted: 1980 by NYI; 2nd round, 38th overall
Sweater Number: 32
The San Jose Sharks have never really been known for great goaltending. (For those of you who just said to yourself, "How about Irbe?", stop complaining for just one second to hear what I have to say.) Kelly Hrudey first stepped into the Tank in 1996, when he signed a free agent contract with the Sharks. The Sharks were a broken team-with two bad seasons behind them they hoped that Kelly Hrudey could bail them out and boost them back into the playoffs. Kelly responded in his first win with the Sharks against his former team, the Los Angeles Kings, 7-6 in overtime.
In the 1997-98 season, Kelly became backup to Mike Vernon, and although Kelly played spectacularly every game, the rest of the team didn't always do their part. The oldest player on the team at the end of the season at age 37, Kelly decided to hang up the skates.
During his tenure in San Jose, Hrudey was known not only for his leadership in goal, but for his character off the ice. Rookie Patrick
Marleau lived in the guest house at Hrudey's San Francisco Bay area home. With the Sharks, Hrudey compiled a 20-40-7 record with a 3.03 goals-against average.
"Bottom line, he's a pro," Sharks general manager Dean Lombardi said.
Drafted by the Islanders in 1980, Hrudey came into the NHL in the 1983-84 season and spent six years in New York. He led the team to the Patrick Division final against Philadelphia in 1987.
In the semifinal playoff game that year, Hrudey stopped 73 of 75 shots in a 3-2 quadruple-overtime victory against the Washington Capitals.
He was traded to the Los Angeles Kings late in the 1988-89 season, and helped the team to the Stanley Cup finals in 1993. He was chosen team MVP for the 1991-92 and 1994-95 seasons.Hrudey said he was grateful to play for the Kings during those years, both with the popularity of the team in Los Angeles and the presence of Wayne Gretzky.
Kelly still ranks second among Kings goalies with 145 career victories and 389 games played. During his career, Kelly has played 677 games with a 271-265-88 record, 16 shutouts and a 3.43 GAA. His 271 victories put him 24th on the NHL's career list. He stands 14th all-time among goaltenders in games played. Hrudey also played in 85 playoff games, with a 36-46 record.
Over the course of last season, Hrudey said he could feel he was nearing retirement. The wear and tear of the game was getting to him. "The game didn't come as easy or naturally as it once did," he said.
After 15 years in the NHL, Kelly Hrudey traded in his skates for a
microphone. Kelly reached a three-year deal with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. to provide commentary for hockey
games for Hockey Night in Canada.
For the past three years Hrudey has served as a guest analyst for the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Hockey Night In Canada, where his keen insights and expert opinions have been highly praised.
Good luck, Kelly. We'll always love and remember you! :o)