The United States Hockey Hall of Fame announced its impressive 2015 class on Monday: Chris Drury, Angela Ruggiero, Mathieu Schneider and builder Ron DeGregorio.
Ruggiero is a trailblazer in women’s hockey, especially for the U.S. She won four Olympic medals, including a gold in Nagano. USA Hockey notes that her 256 games in a Team USA uniform tops any other player in the country’s history.
She also joined the Hockey Hall of Fame, so this has been a big year of recognition for Ruggiero.
Drury (pictured) might as well be synonymous with “winning.” He always seemed to find himself in the right spot to score big goals during his hockey career, so it’s no surprise that he enjoyed such team success: an NCAA title with Boston University in 1995, a Stanley Cup with Colorado in 2001 and strong international work. He’s also the only player to win a Calder Trophy and Hobey Baker Award.
Schneider won a Stanley Cup himself with Montreal in 1993 and was part of the World Cup of Hockey team that won it all in 1996. He was a two-time All-Star.
Here is a quick excerpt from a write-up for DeGregorio from USA Hockey:
Ron DeGregorio has helped shape American hockey for more than 40 years as one the most prominent volunteers in the history of USA Hockey and has conceived programs that have resulted in acclaim from around the world.
While DeGregorio’s ingenuity is evident in many areas, perhaps his most significant concept was starting USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program in 1996. A lightning rod for criticism when it was established, the NTDP has evolved into a revered program that has significantly enhanced elite player development and U.S. success in international competition.
American hockey is in such a great place right now that it’s no longer a shocker to see a guy like Patrick Kane or Zach Parise light up the NHL. Still, some believe that the likes of Mike Modano represented a golden era for their nation, so today was a special day for that group as Modano, Ed Olczyk and Lou Lamoriello were inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
Olczyk discusses that great honor in the video below.
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According to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, Mike Modano is “expected to be among the names announced” when the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame names its 2012 inductees on Wednesday.
If accurate, the decision won’t be much of a surprise. The 42-year-old is the all-time goals and points leader among American-born NHL players.
Modano also routinely represented the U.S. internationally, winning a gold medal at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and a silver medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Modano retired after an injury-riddled 2010-11 season in Detroit. He’d signed with the Wings at age 40 after spending 20 years with the Minnesota/Dallas organization and still remains the Stars’ all-time leader in goals, assists, points and games played.
Built in 1973, the U.S. HHOF honors outstanding coaches, players, builders and administrators that contributed to the success and promotion of American Hockey.
Last year’s inductees included NHL on NBC analyst Mike “Doc” Emrick along with ex-NHLers Keith Tkachuk, Jeremy Roenick and Gary Suter. Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider was also inducted.
As for the 2012 class, other possible inductees (based on who finished their playing careers in 2011) include Doug Weight, Chris Drury and Brian Rafalski.