TAMPERE, Finland – American Brian Leetch, one of the great defenseman in hockey history, was enshrined into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame here today, along with players Jimmy Foster from Great Britain, Cristobal Huet from France, Caroline Ouellette from Canada, and Henrik Zetterberg from Sweden. In addition, Sandra Dombrowski, an official from Switzerland and builder Kalervo Kummola from Finland were honored.
“He is one of the most gifted defensemen in the history of our sport,” said John Vanbiesbrouck, a teammate of Leetch for parts of five seasons with the New York Rangers, and currently assistant executive director of USA Hockey. “His ability to turn the puck up the ice in transition is the best I’ve ever seen and he impacted virtually every game he played in.”
Leetch, who is also a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, was a regular on the international stage for the United States. He captained the U.S. to the championship of the inaugural World Cup of Hockey in 1996 and also helped his country to a silver medal at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
Leetch was a regular on the international stage for the U.S. and played in three Olympic Winter Games in all, two IIHF Men's World Championships, one Canada Cup, two World Cups of Hockey and three IIHF World Junior Championships.
Professionally, he enjoyed an 18-career in the NHL, mostly for the New York Rangers who he helped win the 1994 Stanley Cup title. During his time in the NHL, Leetch became one of only eight blueliners to eclipse the 1,000-point mark.