U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame honors Caps' Dick Patrick

U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame honors Caps' Dick Patrick
October 15, 2012, 7:15 pm
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(Christian Walgram/Gepa via US PRESSWIRE)

On Friday night in Dallas, Capitals president Dick Patrick was awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy for his outstanding contributions to hockey in the U.S.

Prior to his induction into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Patrick, the grandson of Lester Patrick, shared his thoughts on a few topics about the growth of hockey.

On the growth of hockey in the U.S.:

Hockey has just grown tremendously in the United States in the last 30 years or so. You look at Mike Modano coming up through the systems here and becoming one of the top 10 players in the National Hockey League. I mean, that was unheard of when I was growing up. It was mostly all Canadians and then eventually some Europeans came in. The best hockey players [from the U.S.] were coming from cold-weather areas like Minnesota, Detroit, Boston. Now there are hockey players coming from California and Washington, D.C. A lot of people have put in a lot of effort to grow hockey.

On the impact of playing for Dartmouth:

Don’t look back on the record book because we didn’t do very well during my time there as far as won-loss records. But one of the great things about hockey – and anyone who’s ever played it realizes it – the guys I keep up with from Dartmouth are the guys I played on the team with. Once you’re a teammate in this game it sticks with you forever. The thing we’ve tried to do in Washington is to encourage youth hockey and get more people playing it, because once you start playing the game most people fall in love with it and you have fans for life.

On the construction of Kettler Capitals Iceplex:

Anytime you can build a rink, the more ice you can get the better it works. For us it wasn’t even a question. The plan from the beginning, whether it was at Kettler or anywhere else, was to go with two sheets. When you look at it, although it’s great for the Capitals, the percentage of ice time they use there throughout the year is pretty minor compared to the hours of ice time [available]. Youth hockey spends a lot more time on those two sheets than the Capitals.