The Columbus Blue Jackets have hired Hockey Hall of Famer Craig Patrick as a senior advisor for hockey operations. The move was announced Wednesday in a post on the official Twitter site of Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson.
Patrick, 65, will be responsible for advising Howson on trades and free agent signings, as well as evaluating prospects playing for the club's minor-league affiliates and at the collegiate and 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, inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001, became the youngest general manager in NHL history when he was hired by the New York Rangers in June 1981, at the age of 34. He had been serving as the team's director of operations.
The club made the playoffs all five seasons under his watch, but he left the team in 1986 to become athletic director at his alma mater, the University of Denver. He returned to the NHL in December 1989 when he was hired as coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Following the end of the 1989-90 season, he left the bench for the GM office and built teams that won the Stanley Cup in 1991 and 1992.
Patrick was with the Pens until 2006, and during his tenure, he hired "Badger" Bob Johnson and Scotty Bowman as coaches, and drafted Jaromir Jagr, Marc-Andre Fleury and Sidney Crosby.
Patrick rose to prominence as an assistant coach to Herb Brooks on the 1980 U.S. men's Olympic team.
He's also part of the only three-generation family in the Hockey Hall of Fame, joining grandfather Lester Patrick and father Lynn Patrick. His uncle, Muzz Patrick, also is in the Hall of Fame.
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