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Amonte named to U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Tony Amonte, who began his National Hockey League career as a 1988 Rangers draft pick and spent his first three NHL seasons in New York, was named to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

Tony Amonte
Amonte, a native of Hingham, Mass., will be joined by former NHL stars John LeClair and Tom Barrasso in the Class of 2009, which also includes the 1998 U.S. Olympic women's hockey team that captured gold in Nagano, Japan.

In 1,174 games over 15 seasons in the NHL from 1991 to 2007, Amonte registered 416 goals and 484 assists for 900 points, while playing for the Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers and Calgary Flames. An NHL All-Star in every season from 1996-97 to 2000-01, Amonte currently ranks 11th on the all-time points list among American-born players.

Amonte is one of the few players in Rangers history to have made his NHL debut in the playoffs -- during a first-round series vs. Washington on April 11, 1991. In his three seasons with the Blueshirts, Amonte registered 85 goals and 183 points, including a remarkable rookie performance of 35 goals and 69 points in 1991-92. His 35 goals fell one short of Tony Granato's Rangers rookie record of

Amonte made the 1991-92 NHL All-Rookie Team but was beaten out by Pavel Bure for the Calder Trophy as the Rookie of the Year. Bure had scored 34 goals in only 65 games that season, while Amonte got his 35 goals in 79 games. Amonte finished third in the Calder voting behind Bure and Detroit defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.

In his second season as a Ranger, Amonte tallied 76 points to finish second in scoring behind captain Mark Messier. The following year, he had 16 goals in 72 games but was sent to Chicago at the 1994 NHL trade deadline -- just three months before the Rangers won the Stanley Cup. The Amonte trade brought two final pieces of the championship puzzle to the Rangers in Stephane Matteau and Brian Noonan. For his part, Amonte went on to enjoy three 40-goal seasons with the Blackhawks.

In addition to his NHL achievements, Amonte played a major role in one of the most memorable moments in U.S. hockey history when he scored the game-winning goal against Canada at 17:25 of the third period in the deciding game of the the inaugural World Cup of Hockey in 1996. He was also a member of two Olympic teams (1998, 2002) and recorded four points in helping lead Team USA to the silver medal at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City,

The induction ceremony at the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in Eveleth, Minn., will be held later this summer, with the exact date to be determined in August.
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