by Patrick Hoffman on 02/25/10 at 01:03 PM ET
From great friend of the blog Jim Cerny at NewYorkRangers.com:
While clearly defining Patrick’s role in the success of the 1980 United States Olympic hockey team is relatively simple due to his up-front position within the organization, his influence on the Rangers first Stanley Cup in 54 years is not as easily recognized, but, arguably, just as important.
As general manager of the Rangers—a position he held from Nov. 21, 1980, nine months after the Miracle on Ice, until July 14, 1986—Patrick selected two of the most important players in franchise history, a pair who were both part of the backbone of that ’94 Cup-winning squad.
With the 28th overall pick in the 1985 NHL draft, Patrick selected goaltender Mike Richter, who won 16 playoff games in ’94 and became the Rangers’ all-time leader in victories. And with the ninth overall selection in the 1986 draft, Patrick chose defenseman Brian Leetch, the 1994 Conn Smythe Trophy winner and future Hockey Hall of Famer.
“I was real proud of those guys, that they were able to win the Cup,” Patrick said of Richter and Leetch. “They were both outstanding athletes and outstanding people. There are a lot of great athletes, but not as many with great character. These two were great athletes with great character.”
Click here for more from our good pal Jim.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.