Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/07/11 at 05:09 PM ET
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have named Craig Patrick, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and two-time Stanley Cup champion, as senior advisor, hockey operations for the National Hockey League club, Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Scott Howson announced today.
Patrick, 65, will be responsible for advising the general manager on trades, free agent signings, as well as evaluating Blue Jackets prospects playing for the club’s minor pro affiliates – Springfield Falcons (American Hockey League) and Chicago Express (ECHL) – and at the collegiate and major junior levels.
“I am very pleased to add Craig to our organization,” said Howson. “He possesses a wealth of experience, having won two Stanley Cups and two Olympic medals, including gold with Team USA in 1980. His insight and knowledge will be invaluable to the Blue Jackets.”
Patrick has been one of the most respected figures in hockey during a playing, coaching and management career that has spanned nearly four decades. He served as the executive vice president and general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins from 1989-2006 and helped lead the club to two Stanley Cup championships (1991 and 1992), five division titles and 11 playoff berths, while Pittsburgh boasted the second-best record in the NHL behind the Detroit Red Wings during the 1990s. During his tenure, he drafted players such as Jaromir Jagr, Marc-Andre Fleury, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby and also served as head coach for parts of two seasons (1989-90 and 1996-97).
In 2001, Patrick was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, becoming the fourth member and third generation of his family to enter the Hall, joining his grandfather Lester, his father Lynn and his great-uncle Frank. He was inducted for his lifetime of achievements in all facets and at all levels of the sport.
Patrick earned the honor of Sporting News NHL Executive of the Year in a vote of his peers in 1990-91, 1997-98 and 1998-99. He also won the 2000 Lester Patrick Award, named after his grandfather, for contributions to hockey in the United States and was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996.
His extensive international experience began as a player with the U.S. National Team (1969-71) and included the 1976 Canada Cup and numerous other tournaments. He then served as assistant general manager and assistant coach under Herb Brooks for the 1980 U.S. Olympic team, which upset the heavily-favored Soviet Union squad en route to winning the gold medal in what has become known as the “Miracle on Ice.” He also served as general manager of the 2002 U.S. Olympic team, which claimed the silver medal, and the 1991 U.S. team at the Canada Cup.
Patrick began his NHL management career in 1980 when he became the director of operations for the New York Rangers. In 1981, he became the youngest general manager in Rangers history and served in that role until 1986. He led the Rangers to playoff berths in each of his five seasons and served as head coach for parts of two seasons (1980-81 and 1984-85). He was named the Penguins general manager on December 5, 1989.
Patrick played college hockey at Denver University and helped the Pioneers to the NCAA championship in 1968 and 1969, serving as captain the latter year. He played eight NHL seasons and registered 72 goals and 91 assists for 163 points in 401 games with the California Golden Seals, St. Louis Blues, Kansas City Scouts and Washington Capitals. He retired following the 1978-79 season.
Patrick was born May 20, 1946 in Detroit, Michigan, and is married to wife, Jamie. He has four children, daughters Erin and Taylor and sons C.J. and Ryan, and six grandchildren, Ryan, Reed, Anna, Cavan, Tatum and Declan.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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