The Pittsburgh Penguins have hired Hockey Hall-of-Famer Craig Patrick as a pro scout, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
Patrick, 72, is beginning his second stint with the Penguins organization, having served as general manager for 17 seasons from 1989-2006. The highlight of Patrick's tenure as GM came when his teams won back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 1991 and '92, the first titles ever won by the Penguins.
He was enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.
"Derek (Clancey) has taken on more responsibility making player personnel decisions and has been more involved with free agency," Rutherford said. "With that, I wanted to add someone to our pro scouting staff, and I knew that Craig was available. He became the obvious choice to me.
"I have tremendous respect for Craig for everything he's accomplished in his Hall of Fame hockey career. He always has been a great evaluator of talent and he brings a unique level of expertise to our scouting staff. It's also great to have Craig back here with the Penguins, where he built such a legacy of success. We're excited to add him to our staff."
Patrick's stamp on the history of the Penguins' franchise extends to the current group. He selected Evgeni Malkin with the second-overall selection of the 2004 NHL Draft, then finished up his final NHL Draft with the Penguins by taking Sidney Crosby first overall and Kris Letang in the third round in 2005. When Crosby, Malkin and Letang combined to lead Pittsburgh to its 2009 Stanley Cup championship, 10 of the 23 players who suited up during the postseason were either drafted or acquired by Patrick.
Prior to joining the Penguins' organization in 1989, Patrick was best known for serving as an assistant coach to the legendary Herb Brooks on the United States' 1980 "Miracle on Ice" gold medal winning team at the Lake Placid Olympics, which famously upset the Soviet Union to reach the gold medal game. Brooks and Patrick later teamed up to win a silver medal for the Americans at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, with Brooks again coaching and Patrick overseeing the team as GM. Patrick spent nine years with the New York Rangers from 1980-89, serving mostly as GM, but he also had a pair of stints behind the bench.
After leaving the Penguins, Patrick served as a senior advisor for the Columbus Blue Jackets (2011-14) and Buffalo Sabres (2014-15).
Patrick comes from a strong hockey lineage, as his father, Lynn Patrick, grandfather, Lester Patrick, and uncle, Frank Patrick are all three also Hockey Hall of Famers. As a player, Patrick skated for eight seasons in the NHL with the California Golden Seals, St. Louis Blues, Kansas City Scouts and Washington Capitals. He also played part of one season in the defunct World Hockey Association for the Minnesota Fighting Saints.