A family tradition of epic proportions gets passed down to Dick Patrick, the Washington Capitals team president, as he is one of the receivers of the 2012 Lester Patrick Trophy. The trophy, named in honor of Dick Patrick’s grandfather, is given to someone for providing exceptional service to hockey in the United States. It can be given to a player, a team executive, or anyone in the hockey business.
“I am extremely honored to receive this distinction as the Lester Patrick Trophy holds a special meaning to my family,” said Patrick. “In my 30 years with the Capitals, it has been especially rewarding to watch the growth of hockey in not only the United States, but specifically the D.C. area.”
In his 30 years with the Caps, Dick Patrick has been behind the construction of Kettler Capitals Iceplex, and has been in charge of upgrading Verizon Center to improve the arena experience. Patrick also assists team owner Ted Leonsis in the management of three professional sports teams, including the Caps, Washington Wizards, and Washington Mystics.
His grandfather, Lester Patrick, who loans his name to the trophy, contributed 50 years to hockey as a player, coach, and general manager. One of the more memorable moments of his career was during the Stanley Cup finals of 1928, when Lester Patrick was serving as coach and general manager of the New York Rangers. The starting goaltender for the Rangers was struck by a puck and suffered an eye injury halfway through the game. With back-up goaltenders not a common thing yet and opposing team refusing to allow the Rangers to use a substitute goaltender, Patrick inserted himself into the game as goaltender. The team went on to win that game, and later that year, the Stanley Cup.
“Dick has played an integral role not only in the growth of the Capitals organization but also amateur hockey in the D.C. community,” said Ted Leonsis, “Dick has committed himself to building a first-class organization on and off the ice. His dedication, calm demeanor and well-reasoned approach have been the bedrock of our franchise. If anyone embodies the qualities of being a true builder of our sport, it is Dick. It is a fantastic acknowledgement of his contributions that will be forever linked with past Lester Patrick Trophy recipients such as Adams, Howe, Norris, Hull, Shore, Campbell, Esposito, Orr, Gretzky and others who helped to grow our great sport. Dick is much more than a business partner, he is leader, trusted advisor and a dear friend. The Capitals success is a direct reflection of his contributions and unwavering dedication. It seems fitting that one of the highest honors in hockey would ‘return home’ to the Patrick family.”
Dick Patrick will receive the award on October 15th at the annual U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame induction celebration.
Read more on Dick Patrick here: http://capitals.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=641254
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