The National Hockey League today announced Peter Lindberg and Dave Ogrean have been named the recipients of the 2017 Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.
The annual 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.
“The global stature of American hockey has been advanced immeasurably by the contributions of Peter Lindberg and Dave Ogrean,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “While I’m sure they feel it is rewarding enough that more Americans than ever are playing our sport, and succeeding across all disciplines and age groups, honoring Peter and Dave with the Lester Patrick Award provides recognition of their extraordinary efforts through decades of dedicated service.”
For decades Lindberg has called Minnesota – the State of Hockey™, his home. While working as a partner at a local law firm in Edina, Minnesota, Lindberg joined the Edina Hockey Association in the late 1960s as a coach. His passion and commitment quickly made him noticed as he was selected to the Edina Hockey Association board of directors, ultimately becoming affiliate president for the Minnesota Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA).
Lindberg was named president of MAHA in 1983, while also serving as a USA Hockey District Director for over 30 years. Following the end of his term as president of MAHA, Lindberg was appointed as USA Hockey’s first and only Legal Council Chairman, a position he held until his retirement in June 2014.
In addition to his long-term involvement with hockey in Minnesota and USA Hockey, Lindberg worked side-by-side with the United States Olympic Committee providing important legal protection for athletes. For over 25 years, as one of only 200 worldwide arbitrators, he served for the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the top legal tribunal for determining international sports disputes globally.
In June of 2014, through Lindberg’s dedication and selfless commitment, he was recognized by the Governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton, for his 45 years of excellent service to Minnesota and USA Hockey. His accomplishments exceed far outside of hockey, as Lindberg served for over 25 years as the Fourth Judicial District Judge for the State of Minnesota, including three years as Chief Judge and, following retirement, one year as a judge on the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
For a combined 18 years, Dave Ogrean devotedly served as executive director of USA Hockey. During his two terms (1993-99; 2005-2017) Ogrean’s leadership significantly influenced growth and awareness of the game of hockey on a world-wide level.
Through his extensive years of service, American hockey has seen extraordinary success. U.S. teams captured 60 medals in major international competition, including 32 gold, 18 silver and 10 bronze. The U.S. became the first country ever in 2016-17 to win five gold medals in major International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) world championship play in a single season. During his first term as executive director, Ogrean and USA Hockey launched the National Team Development Program, which helped steam-roll success for Team USA, which attributed to greater numbers of U.S. born professionals in the NHL.
Ogrean’s tenure included tremendous growth overall, notably in the rise of women’s participation in the U.S. with an increase of 456% during his time as executive director. The USA Hockey Arena, in Plymouth, Michigan recently hosted the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship with the U.S. bringing home gold for the fourth straight time.
Lindberg and Ogrean will be honored as part of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Celebration on Wednesday, Dec. 13, in Boston at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel.