When asked if he got spoiled by winning two Calder Cups his first two seasons in the AHL, Chris Tancill pointed out he was already used to winning.
“We won the NCAA championship at Wisconsin the year before I won the Calder Cup at Springfield,” Tancill said by telephone. “Then when we won it with Adirondack in 1992, I went three for three.”
Tancill, an Adirondack Red Wing for the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons, will be one of three alumni honored Saturday as the newest inductees to the Adirondack Hockey Hall of Fame. The other honorees are former Red Wings goaltender Norm Maracle and former Red Wings general manager Neil Smith.
The trio will have a question-and-answer session from 5-6 p.m. at Heritage Hall ($5 per person) before being honored at Saturday night’s Adirondack Thunder game.
Tancill was the leading scorer for both seasons with Adirondack. He had 36 goals and 34 assists his first regular season — plus another 16 points in the AHL playoffs — and 59 goals and 43 assists his second season, plus another 14 points in the playoffs. The 59 goals were a franchise record and led the league that year.
Tancill went on to play 134 games in the NHL during a career that finally ended in 2004. Despite how he started out, the 1991-92 Calder Cup with Adirondack was his last championship.
“A lot of great players came through Adirondack,” Tancill said. “I was very honored to get the phone call that I’d be inducted. Adirondack holds a special place in my heart, not just for hockey, but it was where our first child was born. I haven’t been back since, but I’m looking forward to it.”
Maracle played 233 games for Adirondack from 1994 to 1998. He led the AHL in wins (34) and save percentage (.916) during the 1996-97 season, frequently facing 40 or more shots per game. On Jan. 31, 1998 he made a team-record 62 saves in a 3-2 win over Albany.
The first goaltender to enter the Hall, he owns almost all of the Adirondack goaltending career and season records. He played 66 games in the NHL and finished his career in 2012.
Smith was general manager for Adirondack for seven seasons in the 1980s, including two Calder Cup wins. He went on to become the GM for the New York Rangers from 1989-2000. He is currently an on-air analyst for NHL Network.
Smith was honored last year with a Lifetime Achievement Award during the ECHL All-Star Game in Glens Falls.