Richter, Leetch, Hull, Granato Selected to U.S. Hockey Hall
CHN Staff Report
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Former college hockey stars Brett Hull, Brian Leetch and Mike Richter will be enshrined into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame as the Class of 2008 it was announced today by USA Hockey. Providence and Women's Team USA standout Cammi Granato was also selected, the first female among the Hall's 134 members.
The quartet will be formally inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in Denver on Friday, Oct. 10, at Magness Arena on the campus of the University of Denver. The following evening — Sat., Oct. 11 — the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game will take place in the same venue, when Denver plays Notre Dame.
"The Class of 2008 is one of the most accomplished groups that’s ever been inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame," said Ron DeGregorio, president of USA Hockey. "It is indeed with great pleasure that we welcome them to the group of hockey immortals in our country."
Hull recorded 1,391 points during his more than 20-year National Hockey League career that included stints with five teams. Hull's 741 career goals place him third all-time in NHL history. In his first full season with the Blues (1988-89), he scored 41 goals and captured the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. The following year marked the first of three consecutive 70-plus goal seasons, which included a career-high 86 goals in 1990-91 to earn him the Lester B. Pearson Trophy and the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's MVP.
Hull helped the United States to an Olympic silver medal at his second Games in 2002 and topped the tournament in scoring as Team USA captured the World Cup of Hockey in 1996, the first of his two World Cup appearances. He also participated in the 1991 Canada Cup and 1986 IIHF Men's World Championship.
Hull played two seasons at Minnesota-Duluth, where he scored 52 goals in his sophomore season and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award. No college player has scored more goals in single season since.
In 18 NHL seasons, Leetch was an 11-time All-Star, won two Norris Trophies as the league’s best defenseman, captured a Conn Smythe Trophy as the Stanley Cup Playoff MVP and was the Calder Trophy winner as the league's top rookie. He is one of only five blueliners in NHL history to record more than 100 points in a season and one of seven to accumulate more than 1,000 points in his career (247-781—1028).
In his rookie season with the New York Rangers (1988-89), who drafted him ninth overall in 1986, Leetch put up 23 goals and 48 assists to capture the Calder Trophy. Three years later, in 1991-92, Leetch tallied a career-best 102 points, including a team record 80 assists, to capture the Norris Trophy for the first time. In 1993-94, the Rangers won their first Stanley Cup in more than 50 years. He led the way as the top scorer in the post season and was the first ever American-born player to capture the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs. Internationally, Leetch is one of just 10 American men's ice hockey players to have competed in the Olympic Winter Games three or more times, as he played for Team USA in 1988, 1998 and 2002. He also represented the United States at three IIHF World Junior Championships (1985-87), two IIHF Men's World Championships (1987, 1989), one Canada Cup (1991) and twice in the World Cup of Hockey (1996, 2004).
Leetch played one season (1986-87) of college hockey at Boston College and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award.
Mike Richter played in 666 games during his 14-year NHL career, all with the New York Rangers. His 301 wins with the team are more than any other Rangers goaltender and he helped the club win its first Stanley Cup in over 50 years.
Playing full-time for the Rangers beginning during the 1990-91 season, he was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie in just his second full season in the NHL. In 1993-94, Richter was selected as the MVP of the NHL All-Star Game and went on to set a Rangers' single-season record with 42 wins in leading the team to the President's Trophy and its first Stanley Cup title since 1942. Beyond making a huge impact for the Rangers, Richter also was an integral part of the U.S. program for parts of three decades. He is one of just 10 Americans ever to compete in at least three Olympic Games, including in 2002, when the team captured the silver medal. In addition, he led Team USA to the World Cup of Hockey championship in 1996 and was named the tournament's MVP. He also played in two IIHF World Junior Championships (1985-86), three IIHF Men's World Championships (1986-87, 1993) and the 1991 Canada Cup.
Richter, a three-time NHL All-Star, played two seasons of college hockey (1985-87) at Wisconsin before beginning his professional career.
Cammi Granato's extraordinary playing career, particularly at the international level, has played a key role in the growth of women’s hockey not only in the United States, but across the world. At Providence College, she established goal-scoring records and captured ECAC Player of the Year honors from 1991-93.
A 15-year member of the U.S. Women’s National Team beginning in 1990, Granato is the program’s all-time scoring leader with 343 points (186-157) in 205 games. She achieved international fame by captaining Team USA to the gold medal at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, the first time ever women’s ice hockey was included in the Games. Four years later, she captained the United States to the silver medal at the 2002 Olympics. In her last international competition and ninth World Championship, she led Team USA to the gold medal, its first-ever in an IIHF World Women’s Championship. In 2007, Granato received the NHL’s Lester Patrick Award in recognition of outstanding service to hockey in the United States, and, in 2008, she was enshrined into the IIHF Hall of Fame.
Granato was the first woman to be honored with the aforementioned awards and will be the first female to be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.