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Buccigross to Serve as Master of Ceremonies, Vairo to be Featured Speaker of U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction

By U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, 09/04/08, 10:30AM MDT


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – ESPN's John Buccigross will serve as the Master of Ceremonies and former Olympic hockey coach Lou Vairo will be the featured speaker of the 2008 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Dinner, set for Friday, October 10, at the University of Denver's Magness Arena, it was announced today by USA Hockey.

Buccigross has been an ESPN SportsCenter anchor since 1996. He was also previously the host of the two-time Emmy nominated NHL 2Night, ESPN2’s 30-minute program dedicated to hockey highlights and news, from 1998–2004. Since 2001, he has been a National Hockey League/all things hockey columnist on In 2007, Buccigross' first book, Jonesy, was released, which centers on the life of former NHL player and current Versus analyst Keith Jones.

Buccigross has two sons who play in USA Hockey youth programs and, during the 2005-06 season, he served as his son Jack's Mite coach. Buccigross earned a bachelor's degree in communication/theater arts in 1988 from Heidelberg College, where he met his wife, Melissa.  

Vairo, head coach of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team and one of the most renowned coaches in United States hockey history, is currently the director of special projects for USA Hockey. He helped guide the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team to the silver medal at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, as an assistant coach to Herb Brooks. In addition, he served as the head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team on four occasions (1979-82, 2003) and the U.S. Men’s National Team five times (1983, 2000-2003). Vairo also spent two seasons as an assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League.

Vairo received the Lester Patrick Award in 2000 for his outstanding service to hockey in the United States. In 1994, he was the recipient of both the John “Snooks” Kelly Award from the American Hockey Coaches Association for his contributions to the growth and development in hockey in the United States and the Walter Yaciuk Award from USA Hockey’s Coaching Education Program for his contributions and commitment to the development of U.S. coaches. He has also authored multiple books and articles on hockey used by coaches around the world.

The induction ceremony in Denver will honor Cammi Granato, Brett Hull, Brian Leetch andMike Richter as the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2008.

Tickets to the event are available by calling USA Hockey at 719-538-1184. Individual seats are $100, while tables of eight are available for $750.

NOTES:Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. dinner … The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game, pitting the University of Denver against the University of Notre Dame, is set for Saturday, October 11, at Magness Arena. Tickets may be purchased at the Ritchie Center box office, online at, or by calling 303-830-8497 ... The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame was founded in 1973. To date, there are 134 enshrined members in the Hall. For information on the members of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, visit the Hall's official website at … The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum, located in Eveleth, Minn., is open daily. For hours of operation and admission prices, visit or call 800-443-7825.