Hockey Hall of Famer Mark Howe and ECHL co-founder Pat Kelly have been named recipients of the 2016 Lester Patrick Trophy 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.
"As the Lester Patrick Award observes its 50th anniversary and the National Hockey League prepares to celebrate its Centennial, we are extremely pleased that Mark Howe and Pat Kelly are receiving this recognition for their decades of devotion to hockey in the United States," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "Mark Howe, the youngest hockey player ever to win an Olympic medal prior to his Hall of Fame professional career, joins his legendary father, Gordie, as a Lester Patrick honoree. Pat Kelly attained success at all levels of the sport and pioneered the growth of hockey's popularity in the South. The NHL family sends congratulations and thanks to both for their contributions to our game."
Howe and Kelly will be honored as part of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 30, in Philadelphia.