Puck Blog

Leetch among 4 winners of Lester Patrick Award



On Wednesday, Brian Leetch added yet another trophy to his mantel. In addition, to previously receiving the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year (’89), two Norris Trophies (’92, ’97), Conn Smythe Trophy (’94), World Cup (’96), and the Stanley Cup (’94), Leetch was honored as a 2007 recipient of the Lester Patrick Award, which recognizes outstanding service to hockey in the United States. Brian was honored along with broadcaster and writer Stan Fischler, Rangers and NHL PR director, John Halligan, and US Olympian Cammi Granato.

Growing up in the shadow of the Miracle on Ice in 1980, Brian spoke about that team’s inspiration to him as a young player; he also recalled his opportunity to play under visionary American coaches Herb Brooks and Bob Johnson as being instrumental in his career.

Reaching the pinnacle of success in international competition as well as the NHL, Leetch has served as a role model for virtually every American player who has succeeded him; it is indeed a rare breed to have his fierce competitiveness on the ice and modesty off the ice. These traits make him quite simply the greatest American player in hockey history.

The emcee of the event was former Patrick winner Mike Emrick and also in attendance were fellow previous winners Gary Bettman, Lou Lamoriello, John Davidson, Lou Vairo, Rod Gilbert, Art Berglund, Walter Bush, Ron DiGregorio, Lou Nanne and former New York Rangers Adam Graves and Mark Messier.