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Drury, Schneider head U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame class

by Mike G. Morreale

Chris Drury, Mathieu Schneider, Angela Ruggiero and Ron DeGregorio will be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, it was announced by USA Hockey on Monday.

The 43rd U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame enshrinement dinner and ceremony will be held in Boston on Dec. 17.

The NHL's Lester Patrick Trophy, awarded annually for outstanding service to hockey in the United States, also will be presented.

Drury played in 892 regular-season games with the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Buffalo Sabres and the Rangers. The right-shot center finished with 255 goals and 615 points before announcing his retirement in August 2011 after 12 seasons. He had 47 game-winning goals in the regular season.

A third-round pick (No. 72) by the Avalanche in 1994, Drury starred at Boston University for four seasons before joining the Avalanche in 1998-99. He won the Hobey Baker Award in 1997-98 as the top player in college hockey, then won the Calder Memorial Trophy with the Avalanche the following season.


Ruggiero recalls journey to U.S. HHOF

David Satriano - Staff Writer
Angela Ruggiero had one of the most successful careers of all time, one that led her to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. READ MORE ›

"USA Hockey has always meant the world to me and my family coming from a small hockey area back then in Trumbull, Conn.," Drury said. "To have two brothers combine for five Olympic teams and a number of World Championship teams and World Junior teams is pretty special. Certainly without USA Hockey and their tournaments. … I may never have made it out of there so I will always owe USA Hockey a debt of gratitude."

After spending a year in Calgary (2002-03), Drury had his best offensive seasons with Buffalo after arriving in a trade before the 2003-04 season. He had 30 goals and 67 points in 2005-06 and topped that with 37 goals and 69 points the next season.

Considered one of the top defensive forwards of his generation and a clutch performer in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Drury had 11 goals and 16 points during the Avalanche's championship run in 2001, and finished with 47 goals, including 17 game-winners, and 89 points in 135 postseason games.

Drury represented his country in three Olympics, winning silver medals in 2002 and 2010. He won a bronze medal in the 2004 World Championship, and played for the U.S. in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

Before beginning his hockey career, the Trumbull, Conn., native earned national recognition in baseball when he led Trumbull to the Little League World Series title in 1989, throwing a five-hitter and driving in two runs in the championship game.

Schneider spent 20 seasons as an NHL defenseman with 10 teams: the Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, Detroit Red Wings, Anaheim Ducks, Atlanta Thrashers, Vancouver Canucks and Phoenix Coyotes. He won the Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in 1993.

"We're all extremely privileged to be a part of USA Hockey and this is one of the greatest days of my career," Schneider said. "I appreciate everything I've been able to achieve through the help and support of USA Hockey. Timing is everything. I feel fortunate to have been able to play with a tremendous group of players."


A native of New York City, Schneider serves as a special assistant to the executive director of the NHL Players' Association.

Schneider scored 223 goals, 520 assists and 743 points in 1,289 regular-season games. He had 12 goals and 54 points in 116 playoff games. His 36 game-winning goals rank 11th among defensemen.

In addition to his playing career, Schneider served his fellow members as a player representative on the executive board eight times, was vice president of the interim executive committee (2006-2007), a member of the NHL/NHLPA Competition Committee (April 2008-October 2010), and member of the executive director search committee (2009-2010).

Selected in the third round (No. 44) of the 1987 NHL Draft by the Canadiens, Schneider was a two-time NHL All-Star (1996, 2003). Internationally, he helped his country to a first-place finish at the inaugural 1996 World Cup of Hockey championship, scoring two goals in seven games when U.S. won a three-game series against Canada. Schneider also represented the United States in the 1998 Nagano Games and 2006 Turin Games.

Ruggiero becomes the fourth woman inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, joining Cammi Granato (2008), Cindy Curley (2013) and Karyn Bye Dietz (2014). The 1998 U.S. Olympic women's hockey team was inducted in 2009. Ruggiero will also be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Nov. 9.

Ruggiero, who starred on defense, is one of five American hockey players to compete in four Olympics, along with Jenny Potter, Julie Chu, Chris Chelios and Keith Tkachuk. Now an International Olympic Committee member, the Panorama City, Calif., native was the only member of the 1998 Olympic women's hockey team born in the 1980s. She also won medals in 2002 (silver), 2006 (bronze) and 2010 (silver) before retiring.

"I just loved the 15 years I got to spend with USA Hockey," Ruggiero said. "I grew as a person, I learned so many things through hockey and can't say enough about the opportunity I had because I wore that sweater for so long.... I didn't start playing hockey so I could be in the Hall of Fame and now the USA Hockey Hall of Fame. It's just a tremendous, tremendous honor."

DeGregorio, who stepped down as president of USA Hockey in June after 12 years of service, is the visionary who helped institute the highly successful National Team Development Program, the American Development Model and the Progressive Checking Skill Development Program. He also won Olympic gold twice (1960, 1980).

Founded in 1996, the USNTDP is a two-year residency program for the top 16- and 17-year-old players in the United States. DeGregorio's vision was to build teams that could compete with the best players in the world. The U.S. under-18 team led by Auston Matthews, the potential No. 1 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, won its ninth gold medal and sixth in the past seven years at the 2015 IIHF U-18 World Championship in Zug, Switzerland in April. Last season, 62 USNTDP alumni played in the NHL including No. 1 picks Erik Johnson (St. Louis Blues, 2006), who now plays for the Avalanche, and Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks, 2007).

"I really am honored," DeGregorio said. "From the grassroots level to the NHL to the international level, [USA Hockey has] had some great successes together and there's much more in the future, I'm sure."


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