Lester Patrick was the first coach and general manager of the New York Rangers and also the first of three generations of Patrick family members to serve management roles with the Rangers.
Patrick also was a hockey visionary who, along with his brother Frank, was responsible for a variety of innovations, including numbered jerseys, the blue lines, player changes "on the fly" and post-season playoffs, to name a few.
To honor Lester's contributions to the Rangers, the NHL and to hockey in the United States, "A Celebration Of Lester Patrick" reception is being held at Gotham Hall (1356 Broadway in New York City) on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009.
The celebration will feature the presentation of the Lester Patrick Award to Mark Messier and Mike Richter, two mainstays of the Rangers' 1994 Stanley Cup champion team, and to Detroit Red Wings Senior Vice President Jim Devellano, who got his first job in hockey as a scout for Lester's son, Lynn Patrick, with the St. Louis Blues.
There will be video tributes and a round-table discussion with the honorees, emceed by Rangers play-by-play announcer Sam Rosen. Each honoree will receive his award from two of Lester's grandsons: former Rangers General Manager Craig Patrick and current Washington Capitals President Dick Patrick.