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U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame to honor many individuals

by Mike G. Morreale

The 40th U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Dinner will surely be an evening to remember on Monday at the Plaza of the Americas Atrium in Dallas.

In addition to honoring 2012 U.S. Hall of Fame inductees Mike Modano, Eddie Olczyk and Lou Lamoriello, Lester Patrick Trophy winners Bob Chase-Wallenstein and Dick Patrick and Wayne Gretzky Award winner Murray Costello also will be saluted.

This marks the first time that Texas will serve as host to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Dinner, which is slated to begin 8 p.m. ET.

Steve Levy, longtime ESPN "SportsCenter" anchor and hockey broadcaster, will serve as Master of Ceremonies at the event. All award recipients will be available to the media from 5-6:30 p.m. ET at the Dallas Marriott City Center, prior to the ceremony.

Keep checking back to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame blog on for up-to-the-minute reports and reaction from all those being honored Monday.

U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductees

Mike Modano, the highest-scoring U.S.-born player in NHL history, spent 20 of his 21 seasons with the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars franchise before announcing his retirement Sept. 23, 2011.

The first pick of the 1988 NHL Draft, the native of Livonia, Mich., closed out his career as the Stars' all-time leader in games played (1,459), goals (557), assists (802) and points (1,359). He also holds franchise records with 145 playoff points in a club-high 174 games. He remains the all-time leader among U.S.-born players in goals (561) and points (1,374).

Ed Olczyk was selected in the first round (No. 3 overall) by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1984 and he'd embark on a 16-year NHL career as an 18-year old rookie with the 'Hawks in 1984-85.

In his first three seasons with the Blackhawks, Olczyk recorded 180 points in 225 games. He'd produce 342 goals and 794 points in 1,031 games with the Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins. The Chicago native played his final two years with the Blackhawks before calling it a career in 2000. He'd make a smooth transition into broadcasting, where he has become the lead game analyst for NHL on NBC and NHL on NBC Sports Network.

Lou Lamoriello, who will be honored as a builder, is three years removed from his enshrinement into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto in 2009.

His resume includes three Stanley Cup championships in 24 seasons as CEO/president/general manager with the New Jersey Devils, a U.S. World Cup gold medal with Modano in 1996, role as a founder of Hockey East, and a distinguished 22-year career as a player, coach and athletic director at Providence College. He was inducted into the Providence College Hall of Fame in 1982. Lamoriello was recruited from Providence in 1987 by former Devils owner Dr. John McMullen, and was a visionary in his role in bringing Russian players to the NHL.

Lester Patrick Trophy winners

The impact Bob Chase-Wallenstein has had in the entertainment industry at WOWO, a 50,000-watt station in Fort Wayne, Ind., has been widespread and inspiring. His approach and professionalism has had a profound effect on the career of many great sports broadcasters of today, including Hockey Hall of Famer and respected play-by-play announcer Mike "Doc" Emrick.

This year will mark the 60th straight season Chase, 86, will provide radio play-by-play for the Fort Wayne Komets of the East Coast Hockey League. When he began calling games for the Komets back in 1953, the Negaunee, Mich., native was three months removed from college at Northern Michigan.

Dick Patrick is the third Patrick to receive the Lester Patrick Trophy, joining his uncle, Lynn Patrick, and cousin Craig Patrick, an assistant coach with the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" team and the architect of the Pittsburgh Penguins' Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and '92. Despite never playing in the NHL, Dick Patrick's impact has been with the rise of the Washington Capitals and the growth of hockey in and around the nation's capital.

Wayne Gretzky Award

It was Murray Costello's hard work and negotiating acumen that would play a significant role in the Canadian Hockey Association and the former independent Hockey Canada organization joining forces to form an all-new organization under the name of Hockey Canada in 1994.

After the merger, Canada would win four of the next five gold medals at the World Junior Championship with Costello at the forefront.

"The whole system took on a much more positive flavor and I think that was having a role in making that happen and working with people who were awfully good to work with," Costello said.

His contributions wouldn't stop there. Costello oversaw the formation of the Canadian women's team and, in turn, the rapid development of the sport that paved the way for the debut of women's hockey at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games.

Follow Mike Morreale at the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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