ARLINGTON, Va. – Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s vice chairman and chief operating officer and Washington Capitals team president Dick Patrick has been named a recipient 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.
“I am extremely honored to receive this distinction as the Lester Patrick Trophy holds a special meaning to my family,” said Patrick. “In my 30 years with the Capitals, it has been especially rewarding to watch the growth of hockey in not only the United States, but specifically the D.C. area.”
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 that was 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.
The recipients will be honored during the annual U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame induction celebration in Dallas on Oct. 15.
“Dick has played an integral role not only in the growth of the Capitals organization but also amateur hockey in the D.C. community,” said Ted Leonsis, founder, chairman, majority owner and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “Dick has committed himself to building a first-class organization on and off the ice. His dedication, calm demeanor and well-reasoned approach have been the bedrock of our franchise. If anyone embodies the qualities of being a true builder of our sport, it is Dick. It is a fantastic acknowledgement of his contributions that will be forever linked with past Lester Patrick Trophy recipients such as Adams, Howe, Norris, Hull, Shore, Campbell, Esposito, Orr, Gretzky and others who helped to grow our great sport. Dick is much more than a business partner, he is leader, trusted advisor and a dear friend. The Capitals success is a direct reflection of his contributions and unwavering dedication. It seems fitting that one of the highest honors in hockey would ‘return home’ to the Patrick family.”
Before Patrick’s arrival in 1982-83, the Capitals never had advanced to postseason play. In his 30 seasons with the club, Washington has qualified for the playoffs 23 times – including the team’s magical run to the Stanley Cup finals in 1998 and the Presidents’ Trophy-winning club in 2009-10.
Patrick, along with Ted Leonsis, is one of the original partners in the group that became Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE). Patrick assists Leonsis in all facets of owning three professional sports franchises – Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards and the Washington Mystics – and the management and operation of Verizon Center. Mr. Patrick has assumed responsibility for upgrading and improving the arena, which has seen changes designed to enhance the overall fan experience.
As president of the Capitals, Patrick spearheaded construction of the Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the Caps’ state-of-the-art training facility in Arlington, Va. Mr. Patrick, as vice chairman and chief operating officer of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, also oversees revenue generation of MSE.
In addition to Patrick, Fort Wayne Komets broadcaster Bob Chase/Wallenstein has been named a recipient of the 2012 Lester Patrick Trophy. A legendary and pioneering broadcaster for radio station WOWO in Fort Wayne, Indiana, 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.