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Bourque, DeGregorio, O’Ree Win NHL Award

December 5, 2002

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Ray Bourque, Willie O’Ree and Ron DeGregorio were chosen Thursday as recipients of the 2003 Lester Patrick Award for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.

The award was presented to the NHL by the New York Rangers in 1966, in memory of Lester Patrick, who spent 50 years as a player, coach and general manager. He won two Stanley Cup championships as coach of the Rangers.

Bourque, who retired following the 2000-01 season, spent 22 years in the NHL _ 21 of them with the Boston Bruins. With 1,612 games played, he ranks fourth on the career list, trailing only Gordie Howe, Mark Messier and Larry Murphy.

Bourque won the Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year in 1980, claimed the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman five times, was a first team all-star 12 times and won the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001.

O’Ree was the first black player in the NHL. He has contributed to the game in his current position as director of youth development for the NHL and NHL diversity.

O’Ree played two games for the Boston Bruins in 1957-58 and 43 more in 1960-61. He also played 13 seasons in the now-defunct Western Professional Hockey League.

DeGregorio, a current USA Hockey vice president and chairperson of the organization’s International Council, has been a player, coach and administrator for more than 40 years.

The recipients were selected by a panel of writers, broadcasters and hockey executives.

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