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Patrick, Chase/Wallenstein to get Lester Patrick Award @NHLdotcom

Washington Capitals executive Dick Patrick and longtime minor-league hockey broadcaster Bob Chase/Wallenstein will receive the 2012 Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.

The award will be presented during the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame induction celebration Oct. 15 in Dallas.

Patrick has a family relation to this award -- Lester Patrick is his grandfather.

"I am extremely honored to receive this distinction as the Lester Patrick Trophy holds a special meaning to my family," Patrick said. "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."

Patrick has been president of the Washington Capitals since the 1982-83 season. In the eight seasons prior to Patrick's arrival in Washington, the Capitals never made the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In the ensuing 29 seasons, the club has made 23 playoff appearances.

"Dick has played an integral role not only in the growth of the Capitals organization but also amateur hockey in the D.C. community," Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said. "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."

The 2012-13 season will mark the 60th season of Chase/Wallenstein broadcasting Fort Wayne Komets hockey games.

A native of Negaunee, Mich., Chase/Wallenstein arrived at radio station WOWO in Fort Wayne, Ind., in 1953 and began calling games for the Comets in what was their second season, and he's been in the booth ever since.

In addition to his play-by-play work in hockey, he was the broadcaster for the famed 1954 Milan High School run to the Indiana state boys' basketball championship that was immortalized in the film "Hoosiers."

The Lester Patrick Award was presented to the National Hockey League in 1966 by the New York Rangers and 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.

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