DALLAS, Tx. -- The growth of hockey in the United States is alive and well according to 2012 Lester Patrick Trophy recipients Dick Patrick and Bob Chase-Wallenstein.
"Hockey has grown tremendously the past 30 years or so," Patrick said. "When [U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee] Mike Modano was coming up through the system, the best players in the United States were from Minnesota and Detroit, but now they're coming from all over, including Washington, California and Dallas."
Modano can vividly recall the first time he learned how Americans were viewed overseas.
"I didn't know the impact it had until I went to Moscow in 1987 to play in the World Junior Championship and see the impact, internationally, that we had and how people viewed American hockey players," Modano said. "That perception they had about us … we were so young at the time that we wanted to change that perception. It was almost like the Europeans didn't think we belonged on their level. We always wanted to prove to other countries that we could play with anyone."