Former Minnesota player and U.S. Olympian Lou Nanne has been inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame. He is one of 12 inductees being honored by the IIHF in player, builder and referee categories. The Hall of Fame induction and ceremony will be held during the 2004 IIHF Men’s World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic, which is set for April 24 to May 9, 2004.
“I am very honored to have been selected. International hockey has been a big part of my life, and this is a wonderful culmination of my career,” said Nanne.
In 1968 Nanne was captain of the United States Men’s Olympic Team, which finished fifth in Grenoble, France. In seven Olympic games Nanne recorded four points on two goals and two assists.
Nanne was again captain of the U.S. National Team in 1976, playing in the IIHF World Championship in Katowice, Poland, where he recorded four points (1-3) in 10 games. Later that same year, Nanne served as an assistant captain of the U.S. Team that finsihed fifth at the Canada Cup. In 1977, Nanne captained his final U.S. National Team at the World Championship in Vienna, Austria.
In 1981, Nanne was named General Manager of Team USA at the Canada Cup. He went on to serve in the same capacity during the 1984 and 1987 Canada Cups, as well as the 1994 IIHF World Championship.
In addition to representing his country in international competition, Nanne fashioned an 11-year playing career in the National Hockey League(NHL). In 635 regular-season games for the Minnesota North Stars, Nanne
registered 225 points on 68 goals and 157 assists.
During the 1977-78 season, Nanne became the first person to become a Player-General Manager in the NHL. He retired as a player following that season and focused his efforts on guiding the North Stars from the front office. Only two years later Nanne and the North Stars reached the playoffs, and in 1981 made it to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history. Nanne left his General Manager position in 1988 to focus solely on his duties as President of the organization, and officially retired in 1990.
In 1989 Nanne was honored with the prestigious Lester Patrick Award, recognizing his career-long contributions to the advancement of hockey in the United States.
Nanne was an All-American defenseman at Minnesota from 1959-63. In his final season with the Golden Gophers, he registered 43 points (14-29) in 29 games. In 1962 Nanne recorded 32 points (9-23) in 20 games to earn the WCHA scoring title. To this day, Nanne remains the only defenseman with that distinction. Following his collegiate years Nanne joined the Rochester Mustangs of the United States Hockey League (USHL), where he played for four seasons before joining the Olympic Team.
This season the IIHF inducts six players, four builders and two referees. Former players who will join Nanne in the induction are Russians Vitaly Davydov and Nikolai Sologubov, Germany’s Rudi Ball, and Frantisek Tikal of the Czech Republic. Mike Bucka of Canada, Slovakia’s Ladislav Horsky, Japan’s Tsutomu Kawabuchi, and Miroslav Subrt of the Czech Repulic will be inducted in the builders’ category. Referees Ove Dahlberg of Sweden and Yuri Karandin of Russia were also named to the class of 2004.