The National Hockey League announced that Dr. Jack Blatherwick has been named the recipient of the 2019 Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.
The annual 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.
Blatherwick, a Ph.D. sports physiologist who is widely recognized as one of hockey’s top physiologists and innovative thinkers, will be honored as part of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Celebration on Thursday, Dec. 12, in Washington, D.C. at the Marriott Marquis. Ticket information is available here.
“Dr. Jack Blatherwick is an iconic figure in United States hockey history and a man responsible for the training and development of hundreds of amateur and professional players across the country,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “While a force outside of the public’s view, where ‘Cardiac Jack’ preferred to be, his impact on the training profession cannot be overstated. Dr. Blatherwick’s long career, including his time with three NHL clubs, is an inspiration and his contributions to the growth of our game in the USA make him incredibly deserving of this honor.”
NHL, college and Olympic coaches have long sought Blatherwick’s advice and guidance on how to train and develop players. Nicknamed “Cardiac Jack,” Blatherwick worked closely with Herb Brooks to train the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team by studying film, developing drills and creating practice plans with the head coach of the famed gold medal winning team. Blatherwick later served in a similar capacity with the New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals, the University of Minnesota and five more U.S. Olympic teams, including the U.S. Women’s gold medal-winning team in 2018.
In addition to his years in the collegiate and professional ranks, Blatherwick’s work in Minnesota high school hockey spans over five decades. His first high school coaching position was at Breck School, where he served as the head coach for the Mustangs for 11 seasons. He later guided teams at Wayzata, Hamline University, Hopkins and Minnehaha Academy.
Blatherwick joined the staff of Benilde-St. Margaret’s in 1997 as an assistant coach for eight seasons – where he worked as the Director for Athletic Development. During that time, Benilde-St. Margaret’s won two Class A State Championships. He was inducted into the Minnesota High School Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2009.
A prolific writer, Blatherwick is a published author on hockey training topics and is a longtime regular columnist for the publication Let’s Play Hockey.
Blatherwick has left a meaningful and lasting imprint on the world of hockey and all those touched by his years of tireless service. In addition to honoring Blatherwick with the Lester Patrick Trophy, Gary Bettman, Brian Gionta, Neal Henderson, Tim Thomas and Krissy Wendell will be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Dec. 12. More information is available here.
Past winners of the Lester Patrick Trophy include Jim Johannson (2018), Peter Lindberg & Dave Ogrean (2017), Mark Howe & Patrick J. Kelly (2016), Jeremy Jacobs & Bob Crocker (2015), Bill Daly & Paul Holmgren (2014), Kevin Allen (2013), Bob Chase-Wallenstein & Dick Patrick (2012).