Former Waterloo Black Hawks forward, coach, and owner Jack Barzee will be presented with the Lester Patrick Trophy later this year, the National Hockey League announced on Tuesday.
The award is given for “outstanding service to hockey in the United States” and is named for player, coach, and executive Lester Patrick, who offered crucial leadership in establishing the New York Rangers as one of the NHL’s most venerable franchises beginning in 1926. The 1947 Hockey Hall of Fame honoree is also notable for helping to create many of the rules which help define the modern game.
The Rangers initiated the trophy named for Patrick in 1966. Around that time, Barzee was completing his first season as a player in Waterloo, helping the Black Hawks to a United States Hockey League championship. Over the 14 years which followed, the New Haven, Connecticut, native would transition from a Waterloo player to a team executive, coach, and owner, finding success in each role. Barzee later led the Dubuque Fighting Saints to prominence in the early 1980s before beginning a 27-year career as a scout, most of which was spent with NHL Central Scouting.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman released the following statement in conjunction with Tuesday’s announcement:
Through six decades of service to our game, Jack Barzee played just about every conceivable role - from player to coach to general manager to scout to administrator. Every step of the way, he tirelessly advocated for hockey in the United States and focused relentlessly on promoting the talent and skill of American players.
Jack was instrumental in the growth of the United States Hockey League and the flourishing of franchises in Waterloo and Dubuque before beginning a 27-year career as a pro scout - four with the Washington Capitals and then 23 with the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau. Throughout, he was and remains one of the most engaging personalities and great conversationalists in the sport. For his stellar service to hockey in the United States, Jack Barzee is a fitting recipient of the Lester Patrick Trophy.
Barzee will receive the trophy in December as the United States Hockey Hall of Fame Classes of 2020 and 2021 are honored. Lester Patrick Trophy winners are selected by a committee consisting of NHL executives, a representative of the New York Rangers, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame Builder’s section, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame Player’s section, a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum, a member of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association and a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
Earlier this year, the Black Hawks highlighted many aspects of Barzee's distinguished career with insights from hockey coaching luminaries including Bob Motzko, Mike Randolph, and P.K. O'Handley: