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Patrick, Chase to Claim Lester Patrick Trophy

09/11/2012, 2:45pm MDT
By USA Hockey

NEW YORK, New York – Two longtime pillars of the American hockey community, Washington Capitals executive Dick Patrick and Fort Wayne Komets broadcaster Bob Chase/Wallenstein have been named recipients of the 2012 Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.

The award, one of the most prestigious in hockey, was presented to the National Hockey League by the New York Rangers in 1966. It honors the memory of Lester Patrick, who spent 50 years in hockey as a player, coach and general manager and was a pioneer in the sport's development. The recipients will be honored during the annual U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame induction celebration in Dallas on Oct. 15.

A grandson of Lester Patrick and son of former Rangers player and coach Muzz Patrick, Dick Patrick has carried on the unparalleled tradition of franchise building long established by America's first hockey family. Born in Victoria, British Columbia, he grew up in the United States, played college hockey at Dartmouth and earned his law degree from American University.

Since 1982-83, he has served as president of the Washington Capitals. It is no coincidence that the franchise never qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in its eight seasons before Patrick's arrival and has participated in the postseason in 23 of the 29 seasons since – including its 1998 trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

Caps owner Ted Leonsis credits Patrick with bringing him into the world of ice hockey in 1999.

Patrick spearheaded construction of the Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the Caps' state-of-the-art training facility that also is home to local youth hockey programs. As vice chairman and chief operating officer of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Patrick oversees all revenue generation for the Leonsis-founded company that owns the Capitals, the Washington Wizards of the NBA, the WNBA's Washington Mystics and Verizon Center. Patrick also supervises upgrades and improvements to Verizon Center geared toward enhancing fan experience.  

A legendary and pioneering broadcaster for radio station WOWO in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Bob Chase/Wallenstein this season will work his 60th season of Fort Wayne Komets hockey.

The native of Negaunee, Michigan, arrived at WOWO in 1953 and began calling games for what then was a second-year franchise. He has been a fixture in their booth ever since, calling their Central Hockey League championship victory last spring.

During his six decades at WOWO, Chase/Wallenstein did it all – including serve as sports director and marketing and promotions director. In addition to doing play-by-play of Komets games, he hosted an on-air show during which he interviewed celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley and he called the famed 1954 Milan High School run to the Indiana state championship that was immortalized in the movie "Hoosiers."

Renowned hockey play-by-play man Mike Emrick credits having met Chase/Wallenstein while in college with inspiring his decision to make broadcasting his career.

Tickets to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Dinner & Ceremony are available by visiting USHockeyHallofFame.com or calling Kevin Couture at 719.538.1184.

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Going cross-ice in Canada

03/27/2017, 3:15pm MDT
By USA Hockey

March 27, 2017 | When USA Hockey implemented its American Development Model in 2009, one element of the nationwide age-appropriate training blueprint sparked more debate than any other: cross-ice hockey for 8U players. In the years since, an abundance of evidence, both data-driven and anecdotal, has proven the developmental advantages of cross-ice hockey.

This week, Hockey Canada announced that it too will introduce its players to the game through cross-ice play beginning in 2017-18.

“Re-sizing the playing surface to cross-ice or half-ice means more puck touches, which result in more chances to practice puck control and shooting, as well as overall more movement and motor skill-development – twisting, turning, balance, coordination, agility,” said Paul Carson, vice-president of membership development for Hockey Canada, in a release today. “Their field-of-play matches their size, and these players hone in on their skill-development in a way that larger ice surfaces just aren’t conducive to.”

The Grassroots Show on Ottawa’s TSN 1200 weighed in on the decision. Click the audio link below to hear how Canada is embracing cross-ice hockey for the coming season and beyond.

Tom Renney, president and CEO of Hockey Canada, appeared on the Grassroots Show to discuss the nationwide shift to cross-ice hockey, beginning this fall for 5- and 6-year-olds and expanding to all of Canada's Novice (8U) level in 2018-19.

“When you see 10 or 12 or 14 or 16 kids out on the ice in between periods and they’re playing 200-by-85 and 3 or 4 kids touch the puck in that whole six minutes, yet there’s people in the stands clapping and thinking it’s wonderful, I just can’t help but think about the 95 percent of the children that didn’t even touch the puck or get from one end of the rink to the other and I ask myself what are we doing when the opportunity is certainly there to have 30 kids on the ice playing cross-ice and everyone is having a much better opportunity to touch the puck, skate a shorter distance and really play. It just boggles my mind,” said Renney.

“We completely embrace, at the Initiation level and the Novice level, cross-ice hockey and we have mandated that in the Initiation program and we will mandate it across the country in Novice hockey.

“This is about the pure enjoyment of the game, and your first connection with it has to be something that’s pure fun, on a surface of play that is conducive to much more participation and joy.”

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Tag(s): Lester Patrick Award