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11-08-2009, 11:17 PM
Student Of The Game
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James Patrick, D

- 6'2", 202 lbs
- Stanley Cup Finalist (1999)
- Canada Cup Champion (1987)
- Placed 7th, 8th, 12th in Norris Voting
- 6th, 7th, 10th, 11th, 12th in scoring by defensemen
- 6th in playoff points by defensemen (1990)
- 639 points in 1280 NHL games
- Career adjusted +151
- 18 points in 67 games with Team Canada in International Tournaments

A very similar career path to Glen Wesley, the whole offensive defenseman with good all-around skills-turned defensively apt wily veteran, just with a higher peak.

Originally Posted by
Aside from his National Championship in 1982, Patrick captured numerous honours while at UND, including; WCHA Second Team All-Star (1982), WCHA Freshman of the Year (1982), NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team (1982), WCHA First All-Star Team (1983) and NCAA West All-American Team (1983). In the fall of 1983, Patrick joined Canada's National Team, in an experience that culminated in a trip to the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics.

As property of the New York Rangers, who drafted him ninth overall in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft, Patrick then made his debut with the Blueshirts, a move that marked the beginning of more than nine seasons on Broadway. After much anticipation from Ranger fans and management, he settled in as a blueliner with good technical skills and an outstanding ability to make smooth transitions between offense and defense. Once again in 1987 Patrick represented his homeland on the international stage, as part of Canada's series victory of the Soviet Union at the 1987 Canada Cup.

Patrick's personal grounding, intelligence and strong positional play have allowed him to sustain 20+ years of NHL play. He left the Rangers early in 1993-94 for a brief stint in Hartford before heading West to join the Calgary Flames for four seasons. Since then, Patrick brought his veteran blueline presence to the Buffalo Sabres where remained through the 2003-04 season before calling it a career in the summer of 2005.

Aside from his Olympic and Canada Cup experience, Patrick has represented his country at the World Junior Championships (1983) and the World Championships (1983, 1987, 1989, 1998 and 2002).
Originally Posted by 100 Ranger Greats
Spent a decade on Broadway as a defense-first blueliner with great speed and offensive skill who helped the Rangers re-establish themselves as a power... "He's Good enough", declared coach Herb Brooks, "That I can't screw him up."... Patrick may be one of the most underrated defensemen of the past two decades. That's due, in part, to the emergence of Brian Leetch, but also Patrick's preference to stay in the background and play a support role... A devoted Ranger in every sense of the word, Patrick was also fiercely loyal to Canadian hockey. "James was a great guy and a very good role model for young players", said former Rangers captain ***** *****. "He looked after himself and was in phenomenal condition. he had some health problems too, and fought a lot of things just to play every day."... Patrick's professionalism, intelligence and strong positional play allowed him to prolong his career even after his speed and offensive skills had waned.
Originally Posted by Players: The Ultimate A-Z Guide Of Everyone Who Has Ever Played In the NHL
Started off as a fresh-faced kid with the Rangers and is now an ageless wonder with Buffalo, more than two decades after his NHL debut... Patrick combined speed with skill and defensive maturity beyond his years, He moved the puck extremely well and was durable year to year... Patrick's longevity and consistent performance has left an indelible impression on the game and the Canadian national program.
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
"Jeep" played in nearly 1300 NHL games, 4 world championships, 2 world juniors, 1 Canada Cup and 1 Olympics, but somehow is one of the most underrated defensemen in the history of the game.

Patrick, who suffered from the digestive disease colitis, was an exceptional talent. He was an excellent skater in every way - speed, agility and power. His skating was amplified by his superior puck handling ability, often rushing the puck. He had a great point shot, always kept low for tips and rebounds.

Although he had better offensive years, his best year was in 1987-88. He began the year playing with Canada at the Canada Cup, and finished the year being named as the Rangers best defenseman and team MVP.

The Buffalo Sabres were looking for a veteran presence on their blueline, and signed Patrick up in 1998. Neither party probably expected Patrick to play in Buffalo for six seasons, although injuries limited his playing time. Patrick's career highlight came in 1999 when he helped the Sabres reach the Stanley Cup finals. The Sabres would fall to the Dallas Stars in six games.

In 21 NHL seasons Patrick played in 1280 games, scored 149 goals and 639 points. Patrick finally retired in 2004 and took a spot behind the Sabres bench, coaching the defensemen.

For a player with such a great mind for the game, there was never such an obvious transition.
Originally Posted by
While Patrick was not a major threat on the offense (with Buffalo), he played really well in the defensive zone. Patrick was a +40 in six seasons and became a leader in the clubhouse before the lockout ended his playing career.
Originally Posted by NY Times, 11/7/1990
James Patrick, the Rangers' superb skating defenseman who is one of the team's critical components for long-term success...

Coach Roger Neilson marveled at (Patrick) last year as one of the single most impressive skaters he'd ever seen...
Patrick displayed a marvelous knack for rushing right from the start:

Originally Posted by NY Times, 3/10/1984
The Rangers said all along that James Patrick would bring them good things. And tonight, playing in only his second National Hockey League game, the 20-year-old defenseman proved those words true.

The defenseman, with a brilliant display of rushing the puck, set up **** *******'s goal 43 seconds into overtime to lift the Rangers to a 6-5 victory over the Winnipeg Jets.

Patrick, picking up the puck at his own blue line, rushed down the right wing. Sweeping nearly two-thirds the length of the ice of Winnipeg Arena, Patrick slipped the puck through the legs of the Jets' defenseman Randy Carlyle and directed a pass toward the slot.

''I didn't see anybody up there, I wasn't looking,'' said Patrick, who assisted on a pair of other goals, giving him 3 points for the night in his hometown.
The Rangers found themselves behind the 8-ball in this 1990 1st round series, with Leetch out for the playoffs, and Patrick rose to the occasion:

Originally Posted by NY Times, 04/05/1990
Now that the Rangers have lost ***** **** and Brian Leetch to injury, they must rely more on James Patrick, the best skater on the team.
Patrick could be physical, too, delivering the check in that series that gave Pat Lafontaine his first concussion:

Originally Posted by NY Times, 4/7/1990
(Lafontaine) was knocked unconscious by a body check from James Patrick late in the game...

He was unconscious for about 30 seconds, Aldridge said, after his helmeted head bounced off the ice twice... No penalty was called on the play and several Islander players said the check was clean.

''James Patrick is not a dirty guy,'' said **** ******, an Islander defenseman.
Patrick's hit and point production earned him praise after that series with the Isles:

Originally Posted by NY Times, 4/14/1990
James Patrick, the Ranger defenseman who was perhaps the dominant player of the series
Originally Posted by
Leetch also credited the veteran presence as important to his transition.

"I was given an opportunity right away. I had a team that was ready, knew I was going to come and needed a player like myself, a defenceman to get involved in the play.

"James Patrick, **** ***** immediately helped me out."

Last edited by seventieslord: 11-09-2009 at 10:35 AM.
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