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US Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2001

Dave Christian
Paul Johnson
Mike Ramsey

2001 United States Hockey Hall of Fame Enshrinee

David Christian grew up in a hockey loving family in Warroad, Minnesota. The son of Hall of Famer, Bill Christian, a legendary American amateur hockey star who played with the 1960 gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic team, Dave went on to star at the University of North Dakota, where he tallied 70 points in just two years.  From there, he went on to play a significant role with the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team, leading the team with eight assists.

The Winnipeg Jets then made Christian their second draft choice in 1979, 40th overall.  He stepped right into the NHL with the Jets late in the 1980 season.  He made his presence felt immediately, scoring seven seconds into his first shift.  He was named captain of the Jets at age 22 and went on to stardom from there.  While in Winnipeg, during the 1981-82 season, he logged 76 points on 25 goals and 51 assists.  Traded to Washington after the 1983-84 season, Christian’s best season was an 83-pt effort in 1985-86. He went on to put in productive seasons with the Boston Bruins and the St. Louis Blues before ending his NHL career with the Chicago Blackhawks.

He finished his 15 years in the NHL with 340 goals and 433 assists while playing in 1,009 games.  Only 151 players, and only 10 Americans, have appeared in more than 1,000 games thus earning him the NHL’s coveted Pinnacle Award in 1993.  Christian appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals with the Boston Bruins in 1989-90 and in the 1991 All Star Game.  His professional days came to an end in 1995-96 after two seasons with the IHL’s Minnesota Moose.  In addition to his Olympic experience, Christian represented the U.S. at the Canada Cup tournament in 1981, 1984 and 1991. He also played at the World Championships in 1981 and 1989. 

2001 United States Hockey Hall of Fame Enshrinee

Paul Johnson grew up playing hockey in West St. Paul, Minnesota.  At the age of 21 he was named to the 1958 U.S. Men’s National Team, which competed at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in Oslo, Norway.  Johnson was one of just six team members who did not play college hockey. 

Before joining the U.S. National Team, he was a member of the Rochester Mustangs, a junior team in Rochester, Minnesota.  A dynamic skater and explosive scorer, his appearance at the 1958 IIHF World Championship marked Johnson’s first experience with the Amateur Hockey Assoc. of the United States (today known as USA Hockey) and was followed by appearances on two more U.S. National Teams and two U.S. Olympic Teams.  This included serving as a member of the 1959 U.S. National Team that saw action in Switzerland.  In 1960, Johnson was a member of the United States Olympic Ice Hockey Team that captured the gold medal at the VIII Olympic Winter Games in Squaw Valley, California.  He scored three goals and added two assists, helping the U.S. to a 5-0-0 overall record.  His contributions included the game-winning goal against Canada, the Olympic favorite, on a breakaway.  

He was considered by many as the most talented player to come out of Minnesota in that era.  Johnson also competed for the U.S. in 1964 at the IX Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria.  By this time, Johnson had begun a 12-year professional playing career.  He spent five seasons (1960-61 through 1965-66) in the International Hockey League, splitting time between the Minneapolis Millers and the Des Moines Oak Leafs.  During his time in the IHL, Johnson tallied 218 points on 118 goals and 100 assists in 242 regular-season games.  He concluded his playing career in the United States Hockey League with the Waterloo Black Hawks.  In seven seasons with Waterloo (1965-66 through 1968-69, and 1970-71 through 1972-73), he scored 152 goals and 131 assists, totaling 283 points.

2001 United States Hockey Hall of Fame Enshrinee

Mike Ramsey was born in Minneapolis, MN on December 3, 1960.  Ramsey was a member of the University of Minnesota’s 1979 NCAA Championship team.  He was awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy as a member of the gold medal winning 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team.  Ramsey played in the National Hockey League for 18 seasons, 14 seasons with the Buffalo Sabres (1979-1993), while the next four years were split between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings.  Ramsey was the Sabres first choice, 11th overall, in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. Ramsey participated in four (or five) NHL All-Star games in 1982, 1983, 1985 and 1986.  He went to the 1995 Stanley Cup finals with Detroit and made a brief two-game comeback during the 1996-97 season before retiring.  He held the Sabres record for most regular season games played by a defenseman with 911.  In 1,070 games as a defenseman, Ramsey totaled 79 goals, 266 assists, 345 points and 1,012 penalty minutes.  Ramsey returned to the Sabres in 1997 as an assistant coach where he remained until he was named assistant coach of the Minnesota Wild in their inaugural season on July 24, 2000.  He helped the Minnesota Wild earn their ranking among the NHL’s best in goals against and set an expansion team record in short-handed goals and points in the 2000-2001 season.  

Ramsey was inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame on February 15, 2001.