Wild owner Craig Leipold, along with Minnesota Hockey's Glen Andresen and FOX Sports North's Mike Dimond, present the Walter Bush, Jr., family with the 2016 State of Hockey Legacy Award during a first intermission ceremony.
MINNESOTA WILD GRANTS STATE OF HOCKEY LEGACY AWARD POSTHUMOUSLY TO WALTER L. BUSH, JR.
SAINT PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Wild, in partnership with Minnesota Hockey and FOX Sports North, announced today that Walter L. Bush, Jr. is the posthumous recipient of the 2016 State of Hockey Legacy Award.
A monumental figure in the United States' hockey landscape, Bush played a vital role in bringing professional hockey to the state of Minnesota, first with the Minneapolis Bruins and later with the Minnesota North Stars. He served as the president of USA Hockey for nearly two decades.
"We are proud to recognize a man whose passion for the game shaped the State of Hockey in so many ways," said Wild owner Craig Leipold. "Walter Bush will forever be remembered for his dedication and commitment to growing the sport he loved in the state in which he grew up."
Bush was born in Minneapolis in 1929, and he played high school hockey just a few miles away at Breck School in Golden Valley. After skating for Dartmouth, he returned home to attend law school at the University of Minnesota.
In 1955, Bush co-founded the Central Hockey League, considered one of the few minor professional hockey successes of its time. He ventured into international hockey in 1959 when he became the manager of the U.S. National Team, and he later served as manager of the 1964 U.S. Olympic Team. He helped shape both the 1960 "Forgotten Miracle" squad and the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" team.
A strong proponent of women's participation in hockey, Bush tirelessly fought for the inclusion of women's hockey in the 1998 Olympic program. He was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1980 and elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame 20 years later in 2000.
The Wild honored Bush with the State of Hockey Legacy Award in a first intermission ceremony during the Minnesota's Girls Hockey Weekend contest against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday, Dec. 17. Accepting the award on his behalf were his widow, Sis Bush, daughter, Anne Hanson, and sons Walter Bush III and Steve Bush.
The State of Hockey Legacy Award, presented by the Wild, Minnesota Hockey and FOX Sports North, recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary and long-term contributions to hockey in Minnesota. Past recipients are Lou Cotroneo (2010), Neal Broten (2011), Glen Sonmor (2012), Lou Nanne (2014) and Bob O'Connor (2015). There was no award in 2013 due to the NHL work stoppage.
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