skip navigation

U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2014: Karyn Bye Dietz, Brian Rafalski, Jeff Sauer and Lou Vairo

By USAHockey.com, 08/06/14, 6:45AM MDT

Share

LISTEN: Class of 2014 Media teleconference

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Karyn Bye Dietz (River Falls, Wis.), Brian Rafalski (Dearborn, Mich.), Jeff Sauer (St. Paul, Minn.) and Lou Vairo (Brooklyn, N.Y.) will be inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame as the Class of 2014, it was announced today by USA Hockey.

“The class of 2014 is an extraordinary collection of individuals that have had an immensely positive impact on hockey in our country,” said Ron DeGregorio, president of USA Hockey. “Cumulatively, they have been involved at every level of hockey and this group is a big reason why our sport has advanced to the point it has in the United States."

Karyn Bye Dietz

Karyn Bye Dietz, a pioneer in women's hockey in the United States, has had a significant impact on the sport's continued growth and evolution. She was one of the world's elite forwards during her time on the U.S. Women’s National Team from 1992-2002. During that span she represented the United States at both the 1998 and 2002 Olympic Winter Games. An alternate captain in 1998, Bye Dietz helped Team USA win the first gold medal ever awarded in women’s ice hockey at the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. In that tournament she led the U.S. with five goals in six games, while her eight points were tied for first on the team. At the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Bye Dietz registered three goals and six points in a silver-medal showing in Salt Lake City, Utah. She participated in six International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championships (1992, ‘94, ‘97, ‘99, 2000, ‘01), receiving a silver medal at each tournament. She also skated in the 1995 and 1996 IIHF Pacific Women’s Hockey Championships, at which the U.S. placed second both years. Bye Dietz accumulated 84 points (47-37) over 51 career games in a Team USA jersey. In 1995 and 1998, she was honored as USA Hockey’s Bob Allen Women’s Player of the Year. In 2011, Bye Dietz became just the fifth woman to be inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame. A native of River Falls, Wisconsin, who currently resides in Hudson, Wisconsin, Bye Dietz played college hockey at the University of New Hampshire from 1989-93, racking up 164 points in 87 games. She was enshrined into the UNH Hall of Fame in 1998.

Brian Rafalski

Brian Rafalski played 15 seasons of professional hockey, including 11 in the National Hockey League. The defenseman, who grew up in the Detroit suburbs, began his NHL career in 1999-2000, helping the New Jersey Devils win the Stanley Cup and receiving NHL All-Rookie Team honors. Three years later in 2003, he hoisted the Stanley Cup yet again with the Devils. In 541 regular-season games with New Jersey, Rafalski racked up 44 goals and 311 points. He was selected to play in the 2004 and 2007 NHL All-Star Games. He spent the last four seasons of his career with the Detroit Red Wings, helping them win the Stanley Cup in 2008. He recorded 204 points (35-169) over 292 regular-season contests for the Red Wings. Overall, the 515 career points he accumulated in the NHL are 10th-best among American defensemen. Rafalski began his professional career playing from 1995-99 in Sweden and Finland. Internationally, Rafalski was a member of the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Olympic Winter Games. He helped Team USA earn the silver medal at the 2002 and 2010 Olympics. At the 2010 Games in Vancouver, British Coumbia, Rafalski was named to the media all-star team and was honored as the tournament's best defenseman by the directorate after tallying four goals and eight points in six games. Across three Olympics, he tallied five goals and eight assists in 17 games. He also played for the 2004 U.S. World Cup of Hockey Team, 1995 U.S. Men’s National Team, and 1992 and 1993 U.S. National Junior Teams. During his four-year career at the University of Wisconsin, Rafalski amassed 20 goals and 98 points in 146 games. As a senior in 1994-95, he received a number of accolades, including American Hockey Coaches Association West All-America First Team, Western Collegiate Hockey Association Defensive Player of the Year and All-WCHA First Team. Rafalski spent two seasons playing junior hockey in the U.S., including one year (1990-91) with the Madison Capitols of the United States Hockey League and the other campaign (1989-90) in the North American Hockey League as a member of the Melvindale Blades.

Jeff Sauer

Jeff Sauer, who grew up in St. Paul, Minn., and now calls Middleton, Wis., home, has spent more than 40 years coaching hockey, and has had nothing but success in his varied endeavors. Sauer’s 31-year NCAA Division I men’s college coaching career featured 655 wins (seventh all-time) and two national championships, both of which came at the University of Wisconsin (1983, 1990). Sauer led Wisconsin to three NCAA Men's Frozen Four appearances, 12 NCAA tournament berths, six Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoff titles and two WCHA regular-season crowns in 20 seasons (1982-2002). He also spent 11 years (1971-82) as head coach of the men's ice hockey team at his alma mater, Colorado College, where he was twice named WCHA Coach of the Year (1972, 1975). Throughout his college career, he served as head coach for multiple U.S. squads, including the 1995 U.S. Men’s National Team and U.S. teams that participated in the 1990 Goodwill Games, 1989 Pravada Cup and 1997 Tampere Cup. The 2014-15 season is Sauer’s fourth campaign as head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. He led the U.S. to the gold medal at the 2012 International Paralympic Committee Ice Sledge Hockey World Championship. Two years later, he was at the helm of the gold-medal winning 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team in Sochi, Russia. Additionally, Sauer is president of the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association. He helped select the last five U.S. Deaflympic Ice Hockey Teams, while leading the team as head coach in the last three Winter Deaflympics, including a gold medal at the 2007 Deaflympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Sauer has been honored with USA Hockey’s Distinguished Achievement Award (2000), the American Hockey Coaches Association’s John “Snooks” Kelly Founders Award (2004) and the NHL’s Lester Patrick Trophy (2011). He has also been inducted into the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame, Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame and the Colorado College Athletic Hall of Fame.

Lou Vairo

Lou Vairo, who has coached players at every level in the game, has been instrumental in the development of hockey in the United States for parts of the past six decades. In the 1960s, he was a leader in building grassroots programs in New York City. During the 1970s he transitioned to coaching, highlighted by a 1976 national championship while directing the Austin (Minn.) Mavericks of the United States Hockey League. Vairo’s coaching career expanded to USA Hockey in 1979. He served as head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team from 1979-82 and once again in 2003. On five occasions (1983, 2000-03), he was head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team. After contributing as a scout to the gold medal-winning 1980 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, he served as head coach of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team and was an assistant coach for the 2002 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team that received the silver medal in Salt Lake City, Utah. From 1984-86, Vairo moved to the National Hockey League and was an assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils. He then spent the next six seasons coaching in Holland and Italy, including stints working with both countries national teams. Vairo, USA Hockey’s director of special projects since 1992, was the driving voice in the formation of the Diversity Task Force that began in 1992 to help introduce hockey to inner city and minority children. He was at the forefront of helping develop many of USA Hockey’s most successful programs, including in coaching education and player development. Vairo was at the forefront of introducing European concepts of training and playing to the United States in 1972, including methods he learned when studying with legendary Soviet coach Anatoly Tarasov. A long-time member of the IIHF Coaching Committee, Vairo concepted the current IIHF Development Camp that brings together players, coaches, and support staff from all IIHF members each summer in both Europe and Asia to foster the continued growth of the game. He was honored twice in 1994 for his lifetime commitment to hockey, receiving both the John “Snooks” Kelley Founders Award from the American Hockey Coaches Association, and the Walter Yaciuk Award from USA Hockey’s Coaching Education Program. Vairo received the NHL's Lester Patrick Trophy in 2000 and in 2010 was named the recipient of the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Paul Loicq Award. In May of 2014, he was inducted into the New York State Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Class of 2014 will be formally enshrined on Dec. 4 in Minneapolis/St. Paul. More details on the induction celebration will be released over the next several weeks at USHockeyHallofFame.com.

U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductees are chosen on the basis of extraordinary contribution to the sport of hockey in the United States.

NOTES: The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame was incorporated in 1969 and inducted its first class in 1973. To date, there are 161 enshrined members in the Hall. For information on the members of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, visit USHockeyHallofFame.com ... The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum, located in Eveleth, Minn., is open daily. For hours of operation and admission prices, visit USHockeyHallMuseum.com or call 800-443-7825.

Recent News

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Karyn Bye Dietz (River Falls, Wis.), Brian Rafalski (Dearborn, Mich.), Jeff Sauer (St. Paul, Minn.) and Lou Vairo (Brooklyn, N.Y.) will be inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame as the Class of 2014, it was announced today by USA Hockey.

“The class of 2014 is an extraordinary collection of individuals that have had an immensely positive impact on hockey in our country,” said Ron DeGregorio, president of USA Hockey. “Cumulatively, they have been involved at every level of hockey and this group is a big reason why our sport has advanced to the point it has in the United States."

LISTEN: Class of 2014 Media teleconference

Karen Bye Dietz

Karyn Bye Dietz, a pioneer in women's hockey in the United States, has had a significant impact on the sport's continued growth and evolution. She was one of the world's elite forwards during her time on the U.S. Women’s National Team from 1992-2002. During that span she represented the United States at both the 1998 and 2002 Olympic Winter Games. An alternate captain in 1998, Bye Dietz helped Team USA win the first gold medal ever awarded in women’s ice hockey at the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. In that tournament she led the U.S. with five goals in six games, while her eight points were tied for first on the team. At the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Bye Dietz registered three goals and six points in a silver-medal showing in Salt Lake City, Utah. She participated in six International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championships (1992, ‘94, ‘97, ‘99, 2000, ‘01), receiving a silver medal at each tournament. She also skated in the 1995 and 1996 IIHF Pacific Women’s Hockey Championships, at which the U.S. placed second both years. Bye Dietz accumulated 84 points (47-37) over 51 career games in a Team USA jersey. In 1995 and 1998, she was honored as USA Hockey’s Bob Allen Women’s Player of the Year. In 2011, Bye Dietz became just the fifth woman to be inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame. A native of River Falls, Wisconsin, who currently resides in Hudson, Wisconsin, Bye Dietz played college hockey at the University of New Hampshire from 1989-93, racking up 164 points in 87 games. She was enshrined into the UNH Hall of Fame in 1998.

Brian Rafalski

Brian Rafalski played 15 seasons of professional hockey, including 11 in the National Hockey League. The defenseman, who grew up in the Detroit suburbs, began his NHL career in 1999-2000, helping the New Jersey Devils win the Stanley Cup and receiving NHL All-Rookie Team honors. Three years later in 2003, he hoisted the Stanley Cup yet again with the Devils. In 541 regular-season games with New Jersey, Rafalski racked up 44 goals and 311 points. He was selected to play in the 2004 and 2007 NHL All-Star Games. He spent the last four seasons of his career with the Detroit Red Wings, helping them win the Stanley Cup in 2008. He recorded 204 points (35-169) over 292 regular-season contests for the Red Wings. Overall, the 515 career points he accumulated in the NHL are 10th-best among American defensemen. Rafalski began his professional career playing from 1995-99 in Sweden and Finland. Internationally, Rafalski was a member of the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Olympic Winter Games. He helped Team USA earn the silver medal at the 2002 and 2010 Olympics. At the 2010 Games in Vancouver, British Coumbia, Rafalski was named to the media all-star team and was honored as the tournament's best defenseman by the directorate after tallying four goals and eight points in six games. Across three Olympics, he tallied five goals and eight assists in 17 games. He also played for the 2004 U.S. World Cup of Hockey Team, 1995 U.S. Men’s National Team, and 1992 and 1993 U.S. National Junior Teams. During his four-year career at the University of Wisconsin, Rafalski amassed 20 goals and 98 points in 146 games. As a senior in 1994-95, he received a number of accolades, including American Hockey Coaches Association West All-America First Team, Western Collegiate Hockey Association Defensive Player of the Year and All-WCHA First Team. Rafalski spent two seasons playing junior hockey in the U.S., including one year (1990-91) with the Madison Capitols of the United States Hockey League and the other campaign (1989-90) in the North American Hockey League as a member of the Melvindale Blades.

Jeff Sauer

Jeff Sauer, who grew up in St. Paul, Minn., and now calls Middleton, Wis., home, has spent more than 40 years coaching hockey, and has had nothing but success in his varied endeavors. Sauer’s 31-year NCAA Division I men’s college coaching career featured 655 wins (seventh all-time) and two national championships, both of which came at the University of Wisconsin (1983, 1990). Sauer led Wisconsin to three NCAA Men's Frozen Four appearances, 12 NCAA tournament berths, six Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoff titles and two WCHA regular-season crowns in 20 seasons (1982-2002). He also spent 11 years (1971-82) as head coach of the men's ice hockey team at his alma mater, Colorado College, where he was twice named WCHA Coach of the Year (1972, 1975). Throughout his college career, he served as head coach for multiple U.S. squads, including the 1995 U.S. Men’s National Team and U.S. teams that participated in the 1990 Goodwill Games, 1989 Pravada Cup and 1997 Tampere Cup. The 2014-15 season is Sauer’s fourth campaign as head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. He led the U.S. to the gold medal at the 2012 International Paralympic Committee Ice Sledge Hockey World Championship. Two years later, he was at the helm of the gold-medal winning 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team in Sochi, Russia. Additionally, Sauer is president of the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association. He helped select the last five U.S. Deaflympic Ice Hockey Teams, while leading the team as head coach in the last three Winter Deaflympics, including a gold medal at the 2007 Deaflympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Sauer has been honored with USA Hockey’s Distinguished Achievement Award (2000), the American Hockey Coaches Association’s John “Snooks” Kelly Founders Award (2004) and the NHL’s Lester Patrick Trophy (2011). He has also been inducted into the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame, Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame and the Colorado College Athletic Hall of Fame.

Lou Vairo

Lou Vairo, who has coached players at every level in the game, has been instrumental in the development of hockey in the United States for parts of the past six decades. In the 1960s, he was a leader in building grassroots programs in New York City. During the 1970s he transitioned to coaching, highlighted by a 1976 national championship while directing the Austin (Minn.) Mavericks of the United States Hockey League. Vairo’s coaching career expanded to USA Hockey in 1979. He served as head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team from 1979-82 and once again in 2003. On five occasions (1983, 2000-03), he was head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team. After contributing as a scout to the gold medal-winning 1980 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, he served as head coach of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team and was an assistant coach for the 2002 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team that received the silver medal in Salt Lake City, Utah. From 1984-86, Vairo moved to the National Hockey League and was an assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils. He then spent the next six seasons coaching in Holland and Italy, including stints working with both countries national teams. Vairo, USA Hockey’s director of special projects since 1992, was the driving voice in the formation of the Diversity Task Force that began in 1992 to help introduce hockey to inner city and minority children. He was at the forefront of helping develop many of USA Hockey’s most successful programs, including in coaching education and player development. Vairo introduced the United States to European concepts of training and playing in 1972, including methods he learned when studying with legendary Soviet coach Anatoly Tarasov. A long-time member of the IIHF Coaching Committee, Vairo concepted the current IIHF Development Camp that brings together players, coaches, and support staff from all IIHF members each summer in both Europe and Asia to foster the continued growth of the game. He was honored twice in 1994 for his lifetime commitment to hockey, receiving both the John “Snooks” Kelley Founders Award from the American Hockey Coaches Association, and the Walter Yaciuk Award from USA Hockey’s Coaching Education Program. Vairo received the NHL's Lester Patrick Trophy in 2000 and in 2010 was named the recipient of the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Paul Loicq Award. In May of 2014, he was inducted into the New York State Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Class of 2014 will be formally enshrined on Dec. 4 in Minneapolis/St. Paul. More details on the induction celebration will be released over the next several weeks at USHockeyHallofFame.com.

U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductees are chosen on the basis of extraordinary contribution to the sport of hockey in the United States.

NOTES: The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame was incorporated in 1969 and inducted its first class in 1973. To date, there are 161 enshrined members in the Hall. For information on the members of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, visit USHockeyHallofFame.com ... The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum, located in Eveleth, Minn., is open daily. For hours of operation and admission prices, visit USHockeyHallMuseum.com or call 800-443-7825.

Most Popular Articles

Changes to the Registration Process for the 2022-23 Season

By USA Hockey 07/15/2022, 1:00pm MDT

Q-and-A with USA Hockey’s Director of Officiating Education Program Matt Leaf

The Referee Section of USA Hockey recently met during Annual Congress and discussed a variety of issues that will have an impact in the success of the officiating program. Many of those issues relate back to the successful completion of the registration requirements and the retention of officials.

Streamlining the registration process and maximizing the efficiency of our educational platforms are always a priority and the following Q-and-A will highlight those changes that every official should be aware of heading into the new season.

USA Hockey: What is the biggest change made to the registration requirements for this season?

Matt Leaf: With more and more seminars transitioning to a virtual format, the Referees-in-Chief (RIC) have determined that there really is no need for the closed book exams. So, level 2, 3 and 4 officials this season will no longer be required to submit a closed book (or modified online closed book exam) upon completion of the seminar requirement. Instead, the open book exams have been expanded to 75 questions for level 2 and 100 questions each for level 3 and level 4.

The RICs acknowledged that the purpose of the exams has always been as a means to encourage rule knowledge, so more effort was made to put together open book exam questions that will encourage the officials to open the Rules/Casebook in an effort to not only learn the rule, but more importantly, understand the spirit and intent of the rule.

USAH: Are there any other changes to the exam process

ML: The only other change to the exams deal with those who do not pass the original exam. Level 2, 3 and 4 officials will now be able to complete their retake exam 24 hours after failing their original exam. Level 1 officials will still need to wait seven days as we want them to slow down and take some time reviewing the rules so they can gain a better understanding and improve their chances for success on the ice.

USAH: What changes, if any, have been made to the seminars? Are all officials still required to attend a seminar each season?

ML: Yes, except for Tenured Officials, all officials are required to attend a seminar for the level that they apply for each season. So, a Level 1 official must attend a Level 1 seminar, Level 2 attends a Level 2 and then Level 3 and 4 seminars will be combined as one seminar in many cases.

Level 1 officials are strongly encouraged to attend a seminar in their own area and most areas will mainly conduct in-person Level 1 seminars. Although there will be some hybrid Level 1 seminars with both a virtual and in-person component, the key here is that every Level 1 official is required to attend a Level 1 seminar ice session. This may require some additional coordination of scheduling for these new officials, but the reality is this on-ice practice is so critical to any future success they may have on the ice that the RICs feel it is critical that the ice session is part of their educational experience.

Level 2 seminars will also include an on-ice component that Level 2 officials need to be aware of when they plan their seminar attendance. The vast majority of Level 3 and Level 4 seminars will be virtual and officials are encouraged to attend a seminar at a date and time that is convenient for them.

USAH: Have there been any changes to the curriculum for the various levels?

ML: The curriculum for each level was standardized prior to last season and is something that will continue to be updated on an annual basis. The specific presentations, along with the video examples, have all been developed in a manner that provides valuable information specific to each level with new presentations and updated video examples being used to keep things fresh and relevant. In addition, the seminar curriculum has been coordinated with the online modules to minimize duplication and to diversify the required education for each level.

USAH: How about SafeSport and Screening – any changes to those requirements?

ML: The background screening process will remain the same as USA Hockey is required to conduct a national screen every two years on any official who is 18 years of age as of June 1 of the registration year (in this case 2022). Both the background screen and the SafeSport training are mandated by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) per the Amateur Sports Act initiated by Congress.

For SafeSport, any official who was born in 2005, or earlier, is required to complete SafeSport training on a yearly basis. This may include the full training or refresher training that is managed by the US Center for SafeSport. Although it will not have an impact on registration for this season, there was a change in SafeSport that has been made where the training will only be valid for a 12-month period of time and it not consistent with an overlapping season. This will be addressed during the summer of 2023.

USAH: Are there any other changes or areas of emphasis that you want officials to be aware of?

ML: A significant part of the discussions that took place with the RICs focused on the importance mentoring plays in the success and, ultimately, the retention of brand-new officials. USA Hockey loses 50% of our new officials every season and improving that retention rate by just 15% will result in 1,000 additional experienced officials joining our ranks each year. We need to do a better job of bringing new officials into the fold and then supporting them in ways that sets them up for a successful and rewarding experience. The RICs feel strongly the best way to positively impact this issue is through mentoring.

Experienced officials should expect to receive information later this summer that outlines expectations of a formal Mentor Program and asking them to volunteer their time and expertise to become involved as a mentor. Once we have established a pool of officials that are willing to contribute in this way to the next generation of officials, they will be assigned a group of new officials they can reach out to and guide them through the registration process, seminar attendance, assistance in completing the open book exam and reaching out to prospective assignors when the time has come they are ready to work games. Once they have stepped on the ice, that mentor can continue to be a valuable resource for the new official and provide the necessary support needed to be successful. We will also be encouraging local clubs, assignors and officials’ groups to implement Shadow Programs that will complement the Mentor Program and positively enhance the officials’ experience even more.

With everyone working together towards a common goal, USA Hockey can become a leader in addressing the officiating crisis while providing a positive experience to our next generation of officials.

Al, Chuck and Caleb all find fulfillment as USA Hockey officials

3 Tips for Measuring Your Powders

By USA Hockey 04/11/2017, 11:00am MDT

Useful tips when getting ready to mix up a shake