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US Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2009

1998 US Women's Olympic
Tony Amonte
Tom Barrasso
John LeClair
Frank Zamboni


2009 United States Hockey Hall of Fame Enshrinee

Perhaps the greatest influence on the growth of girls' and women's ice hockey in America, the U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team captured the nation's hearts at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. There, the team won the first-ever gold medal presented in women's ice hockey at an Olympic Winter Games, defeating arch-rival Canada, 3-1, in the gold medal game.

Team USA's story began with the 1997 USA Hockey Women's National Festival, from which 25 players were selected to the 1997-1998 U.S. Women's National Team.  The squad embarked on a pre-Olympic tour that included tune-up games against college all-star teams and international squads from Canada, Finland and Sweden.  Then, on December 20, 1997, the 20 players who comprised the United States' first-ever Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team were unveiled.

On February 8, 1998, Team USA's run to a perfect 6-0-0 record at the Olympic Winter Games began with a 5-0 victory against China.  It was a contest that offered many historic firsts, including the first U.S. goal in Olympic competition, scored fittingly by team Captain Cammi Granato.  The all-time leading scorer U.S. scorer in International Ice Hockey Federation World Women's Championship competition, Granato was one of only two players who had been a member of every U.S. Women's National Team since 1990.

The U.S. then won it's next four games, outscoring it's opponents, 28-7, and setting the stage for Olympic history against Canada.  After a scoreless first period in the gold-medal game, Sandra Whyte and Sue Merz set up Gretchen Ulion for the first goal of the game on the power play at 2:38 of the second period.

U.S. netminder Sarah Tueting did her part to keep Canda at bay, turning in a memorable 21-save performance.  On the other end of the ice, Shelley Looney used assist from Whyte and Ulion to score a power-play goal at the 10:57 mark of the third period to give team USA a 2-0 lead.  Five minutes later, Canada scored on a power play to pull within a goal, but with eight seconds remaining in the game, Whyte slid in an empty-net goal to forever seal a golden place in history for the 1998 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team.

The impact of the 1998 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team went far beyone the ice in Nagano.  Following Team USA's gold-medal victory, girl's and women's hockey became one of the fastest growing sectors in ice hockey.

2009 United States Hockey Hall of Fame Enshrinee

A five-time NHL All-Star and two-time U.S. Olympian, Tony Amonte starred in both the National Hockey League and on the international stage during his 16-year professional career.

Amonte spent two seasons (1989-91) at Boston University, earning a spot on the Hockey East All-Star Second Team in 1991. During his collegiate career, he represented the United States as a member of the U.S. National Junior Team in 1989 and 1990.

A fourth-round draft pick by the New York Rangers in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft, Amonte joined the club for two playoff games in 1991. He embarked on his first full season with the Rangers later that fall and was a Calder Trophy finalist as the NHL’s top rookie after scoring 35 goals in 79 games.

During the 1993-94 season, Amonte was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks where he began a nine-year stint. He made his first NHL All-Star Game appearance during the 1996-97 season and led the Blackhawks that year with 41 goals and 77 points. 

Prior to that breakthrough season in Chicago, Amonte made his mark on the international stage at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. As a member of Team USA, he scored the game-winning goal in the third and decisive game of the championship series against Canada to help the U.S. claim the gold medal. 

Amonte continued to lead the Blackhawks in goals and points over the next three seasons, cracking the 40-goal mark in two of those campaigns. In 2000 he was named the Blackhawks captain. Interestingly, Amonte did not miss a single game for five straight seasons (1997-2002).

After leading the Blackhawks back to the playoffs for the first time in five years and winning a silver medal with the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team in 2002, Amonte signed as a free agent with the Phoenix Coyotes before joining the Philadelphia Flyers in a mid-season trade. He signed with the Calgary Flames prior to the 2005-06 season, where he spent his final two NHL seasons. 

Amonte recorded 416 goals and 900 points in 1,174 career NHL games. He also amassed 13 goals and 20 assists while wearing a Team USA sweater, which also included appearances at the 1990 Goodwill Games, 1991 and 1993 IIHF World Championships, 1998 Olympic Winter Games and 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

2009 United States Hockey Hall of Fame Enshrinee

Tom Barrasso, who led the Pittsburgh Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cup titles, is the only goaltender to ever play in the National Hockey League that came directly from high school. 

Selected fifth overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, Barrasso was spectacular from the outset of his NHL career, earning both the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie and Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goalie in 1984. He became only the third player to win both awards in the same year.

Barrasso, a three-time NHL All-Star and five time finalist for the Vezina Trophy, spent five full seasons (1983-88) with Buffalo before being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 1988-89 season. There he became a major piece of Pittsburgh’s championship puzzle, helping the Penguins to Stanley Cup Championships in 1991 and 1992 and logging a record 14 consecutive playoff victories between May 9, 1992, and April 22, 1993. 

During the 1992-93 season, Barrasso led the league with 43 victories. During his career, he ranked among the top 10 in the NHL in victories on nine occasions. He became the first-ever American-born goalie to record 300 wins in 1997, and finished his career with 369 victories. In addition, Barrasso owns NHL records for career assists (48) and points (48) by a goaltender.

Barrasso spent the 2000-01 season away from hockey to focus on his daughter Ashley’s life-threatening battle with cancer. He returned to the NHL and the Carolina Hurricanes for the 2001-02 campaign. Later that season, he represented his country as a member of the silver medal-winning U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. Barrasso played his final NHL game in 2003.

Overall, his professional career spanned 19 seasons and 777 games played, while his international experience also included stints with Team USA at the 1983 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, the 1984 and 1987 Canada Cups, and the 1986 IIHF World Championship.

2009 United States Hockey Hall of Fame Enshrinee

John LeClair, as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers legendary “Legion of Doom” line, was the first U.S. born player to ever record three consecutive 50-goal seasons in the National Hockey League.

After being the first American selected out of Bellows Free Academy (VT) High School by the Montreal Canadiens with the 33rd overall pick in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, LeClair put his NHL aspirations on hold to play at the University of Vermont.  During his four-year stint with the Catamounts, LeClair twice competed with the U.S. National Junior Team at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship (1988, 1989). He was named a Second Team ECAC All-Star as a senior in 1991 after leading his team in goals (25) and points (45).

Less than a week after his final game at Vermont, LeClair joined the Canadiens, scoring in his first career NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks on March 9, 2001.  He eventually earned a full-time spot on the team in 1993, and that year helped lead Montreal to a Stanley Cup championship, scoring consecutive game-winning overtime goals in the Stanley Cup finals.

Following a late-season trade to the Philadelphia Flyers in 1995, LeClair exploded, logging 23 points (12-11) in his first 13 games with his new club. Each of the following three seasons, he notched 50 or more goals to make history.

His offensive breakout earned LeClair a spot on the gold medal-winning Team USA at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, where he finished second in goals (6) and points (10) in the tournament and was named to the all-tournament team. He was also a member of the 1998 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, and accomplishment he repeated in 2002 and helped Team USA capture the silver medal in Salt Lake City, Utah.

LeClair continued his success with the Flyers from 1998-2004, breaching the 40-goal mark twice more and exiting Philadelphia in the franchise’s top 10 in goals scored.  In 2005, he finished his 16-year NHL career with a total of 406 goals and 819 points.

2009 United States Hockey Hall of Fame Enshrinee

Go to almost any rink in America and you are sure to see the influence of Frank Zamboni. His ingenuity permeates the hockey world and has made “Zamboni” a household name.

As a teenager, the Eureka, Utah, native moved to Southern California with his brother, Lawrence, to join their older brother in his auto repair business. The two younger Zamboni’s soon broke off on their own, building a plant that made block ice. The rise of refrigeration technology forced the brothers to capitalize on their expertise in other ways, however.

In 1939, Frank, Lawrence and a cousin built Iceland Skating Rink in Paramount, Calif. At the time, resurfacing a sheet of ice required a process that took more than an hour to complete. With a new 20,000 square foot skating surface to maintain, Frank Zamboni developed a revolutionary concept in 1949, his “Model A”, that would make him famous.

Zamboni received a patent based on the design of the “Model A,” the world’s first self-propelled ice resurfacing machine and he established Frank J. Zamboni & Co. as a family partnership to manufacture his machine. The second ever sale was made to the Norwegian Olympic figure skater and film actress, Sonja Henie, and the fourth to Ice Capades. The Ice Capades machine resides in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum.

Taking advantage of the interest generated by the Sonja Henie and Ice Capades touring shows, Zamboni created a production design that was delivered in 1954 to the Boston Garden, Boston Arena, Providence Arena and the Montreal Forum. In 1960, he brought six machines to Squaw Valley, Calif., for the Olympic Winter Games, including three designed specifically for Olympic ice surfaces.

Zamboni’s design continued to gain popularity for its ability to produce a superior sheet of ice while adding many improvements. In 1994, Lillehammer, Norway, marked the first Olympic Winter Games to use all electric Zamboni ice resurfacers, and the Zamboni was named the “Official Ice Resurfacer of the NHL” in 2002. 

For his ingenuity and persistence, Zamboni was inducted into the United States Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2000 and the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2007.