US Hockey Hall Of Fame Inducts Richter, Leetch, and Hull

Matt EichelSenior Writer IAugust 12, 2008

Two long-time blueshirts and one of the game's most prolific goal-scorers are being remembered in the US Hockey Hall of Fame in the Class of 2008.

You cannot think of the New York Rangers and not conjure up thoughts of defensive juggernaut defenseman Brian Leetch and acrobatic goaltender Mike Richter.  You'd be hard pressed to not remember the magical run both players went on during the 1994 Stanley Cup playoffs all the way to Stanley Cup glory.

Long-time Ranger Brian Leetch became the first non-Canadian player to capture the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Rangers beat the Vancouver Canucks in the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals in Madison Square Gardens.  Leetch, an 11-time all-star in 18 career seasons that also saw stints in Boston and Toronto, is one of the greatest defensemen in Rangers history and in US hockey history.  Leetch also capture two Norris Trophies during his 18-year career.

Mike Richter's career as a Ranger was cut short due to many nagging injuries, yet when the position of New York Ranger goaltender comes to mind, many hockey fans would name Mike Richter among the best Rangers goaltenders ever.  Richter was a true American player, representing the US at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey in which the US captured the top prize.  Richter also captured a silver medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics as the starting goaltender for the stars and stripes.  Richter would win 301 games over his 666 career games.

Brett Hull, son of the Golden Jet, was one of the most dangerous players the opponents side of the blue line.  Five times in his career did Hull reach above 50 goals, including a red-hot tear in the early 90s that saw Hull score 72, 86, 70, 54, and 57 respectively from 1989-90 to 1993-94 for the St. Louis Blues.  Hull is one of the most prolific scorers, not only in Blues history, but in American hockey history.  Hull ranks third all-time with his 741 career goals, behind Gordie Howe (801) and Wayne Gretzky (894).

Along with these prominent NHLers, the US HHOF is inducting US women's national star and captain Cammi Granato into the hall.  Granato is the all-time leading scorer for the US national women's team with 343 points in 205 career games with the stars and stripes.  Her brother Tony Granato played a 14-year with the New York Rangers, LA Kings, and San Jose Sharks (774 GP, 248 G, 244 A, 492 PTS).