Dick Patrick was humbled when told he'd be one of two recipients of the 2012 Lester Patrick Trophy to be awarded on Monday at U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame ceremonies at the Plaza of the Americas Atrium in downtown Dallas.
Dick Patrick becomes the third family member to receive the trophy, which is named after his grandfather. The award, one of the most prestigious in hockey, was presented to the NHL 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.
Dick Patrick, the son of former Rangers player and coach Muzz Patrick, grew up in the United States, played college hockey at Dartmouth and earned his law degree from American University. He joined the Washington Capitals' front office 30 years ago and joins his uncle, Lynn Patrick (1989), and cousin Craig Patrick (2000) as Lester Patrick Trophy recipients.
Patrick told everyone in attendance at the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame that he remembered his grandfather quite well.
"He died around the time I was beginning high school, but he and his wife, my grandmother, would visit us … my dad ran the [New York] Rangers and my uncle ran the [Boston] Bruins and they'd come out and spend time with the families and see games at both arenas," Patrick said. "I remember him the same way as you would remember your grandfather -- he was a big part of the family. It wasn't so much the hockey part; I got most of that through books and other people telling me stories.
"But the one gratifying thing about becoming involved in the NHL, personally, was how many people over the years said that my grandfather helped them out along the way and gave them their start. It was pretty special that he would be remembered in a way that people would approach me and make it a point to tell me that."
Follow Mike Morreale at the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Twitter at: @mike_morreale