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John Davidson Honored with 2004 Lester Patrick Award

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

New York, N.Y. ( -- Veteran NHL broadcasters John Davidson (right) and Mike Emrick, and long-time executive Ray Miron have been named recipients of the 2004 Lester Patrick Award for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.

The award, one of the most prestigious in hockey, was presented to the National Hockey League by the New York Rangers in 1966. It 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.

Among those eligible to win the Award are players, coaches, broadcasters, referees and linesmen, as well as team and League executives. With the addition of Emrick, Davidson, and Miron, 98 individuals now have been honored. Three United States Olympic hockey teams also have been recognized: the 1960 and 1980 gold medal-winning men's teams and the 1998 gold medal-winning women's team.

Davidson has appeared on all four major American networks' hockey coverage, and currently is ABC's lead studio analyst. He also has served as the color commentator on New York Rangers telecasts for Madison Square Garden Network for the past 18 seasons.

An 11-year NHL goaltender, "J.D." was drafted in 1975 by St. Louis, where he played for two years, before moving to the Rangers, where he became one of New York's most popular and celebrated athletes of his era. Forced into retirement by injury in 1983, Davidson quickly and smoothly made the shift into broadcasting.

He served as an analyst for MSG Network in 1983-84 before joining the Hockey Night in Canada crew for two seasons. In 1986-87, Davidson returned to MSG, where he continues to call Rangers games today.

A native of Ottawa, Davidson has been paired with Emrick on several national broadcasts in the United States. They comprised Fox's lead play-by-play team from 1995-1999, and worked in tandem the 1992, 1994, and 1998 Olympic Winter Games. Widely hailed as one of the most knowledgeable men associated with the sport, Davidson has twice won New York Emmy awards for "Outstanding On-Camera Achievement."

Emrick has been familiar to NHL fans across America for nearly 20 years. Currently in his fifth season as a play-by-play voice on ABC's National Hockey League coverage, the LaFontaine, Ind., native was the lead announcer on Fox broadcasts from 1995-1999. Emrick's national credits include the past 16 Stanley Cup Playoffs, seven Stanley Cup Finals, five NHL All-Star Games, and three Olympic Winter Games (1992, 1994, 1998).

"Doc," as he is known by many, has spent most of his NHL broadcasting career in the New York area. Presently in his 14th season (11th consecutive) as the lead television play-by-play man for the New Jersey Devils, Emrick has been behind the microphone for all three Devils Stanley Cup-winning seasons. He also has received a National Cable TV Ace Award in 1999, as well as three Emmy Awards for the New York region (1996, 1999, 2002).

Emrick also is no stranger to the Lester Patrick Awards Luncheon: he has emceed the event 14 times and has served as a member of its selection committee on three occasions.

Miron managed and coached teams across North America for more than 50 years and also held many executive positions, serving as founder and president of a "new" Central Hockey League (CHL) from 1992-1997 and commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Hockey League from 1983-1987. Miron also was general manager of the NHL's Colorado Rockies from 1976-1981. Under Miron, the Rockies enjoyed their greatest success during the 1977-78 season when they finished second in the Smythe Division and qualified for the playoffs.

A native of Cornwall, Ontario, Miron began managing and coaching teams in hockey, lacrosse and baseball at age 16. Subsequently, he served as manager of Cornwall Arena for 11 years where he promoted various sporting events, and then spent five years working with Eastern Hockey franchises in Washington, D.C., Haddonfield, N.J., and Knoxville, Tenn. Following these brief stints, Miron then found a home in the Toronto Maple Leafs organization from 1964-65 through 1975-76, serving as coach and general manager for CHL affiliates Tulsa and Oklahoma City. In 1967-68, his Tulsa Oilers won the Adams Cup, the CHL championship.

In 1976, Miron accepted an offer to become president of the CHL, but left after three weeks to realize his dream of becoming an NHL general manager and joined the Rockies.

The 2004 recipients will be honored March 16 at a luncheon at the New York Hilton Hotel. Individual tickets cost $125 and all proceeds benefit USA Hockey. To order tickets or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, please call 719-538-1165.
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