Longtime Minnesota Team Physician Nagobads Gets U.S. Hall Call

Former Minnesota team doctor V. George Nagobads, also a longtime Team USA physician, is part of a five-man 2010 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame class announced Thursday.

Nagobads will join NHL standouts Jeremy Roenick and Kevin and Derian Hatcher, along with former USA Hockey director of national teams and Colorado College alumnus Art Berglund in induction ceremonies Oct. 21 in Buffalo, N.Y.

The Latvian-born Nagobads moved to the U.S. in 1952 and eventually became friends with Minnesota coach Herb Brooks while earning his surgical residency in Minneapolis. He served as the team physician for 34 years, starting in 1958.

He was a member of three national championship teams during his tenure, and the team honored him in 1978 with the creation of an award in his honor that is given each season.

Nagobads served as team physician on five U.S. Olympic squads (1968, 1972, 1980, 1984, 1988). Included in that group is the gold medal-winning 1980 team, for which Brooks gave Nagobads the job of keeping track of shift length, a crucial element in defeating the vaunted Soviet Union squad.

“I didn’t get to see the game because I was holding the stopwatch,” Nagobads said. “Russian players came up to me after the game and asked, ‘What did you feed your players so that they could skate like that in the final period?'”

Nagobads was the team physician for five national junior teams and 15 national teams over the course of 23 years. Included in those national teams was the first women’s national team, which won a silver medal at the 1990 IIHF World Women’s Championship.

“To become a member of this prestigious family, I don’t have enough words,” Nagobads said.

Roenick spent 20 seasons in the NHL with five different teams. He amassed 1,216 points in 1,363 games over the course of his career, and finished second all-time in goals in Stanley Cup playoff Game 7s with six.

Roenick was a member of the 1988 and 1989 U.S. national junior teams before joining the Chicago Blackhawks at 19. He donned the red, white, and blue of the national team in 1991 for the IIHF World Championship, and for Team USA in the Canada Cup in that same year.

He was a member of the silver medal-winning U.S. Olympic team in 2002 in Salt Lake City, and also competed in the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan.

“I think I’m a better person because of USA Hockey,” Roenick said. “We were a part of the generation who helped make the United States into a superpower.”

Kevin Hatcher spent 17 seasons with five NHL teams. He began his career with the Washington Capitals in 1984, and became just the seventh defenseman in league history to score at least 30 goals in a single season when he tallied 34 in 1992-93. He finished his career with 677 points in 1,157 games.

Hatcher first represented the United States as a member of the 1984 national junior team. He went on to play for the U.S. teams that competed in the Canada Cup in both 1987 and 1991. His brightest international moment was as a member of the 1996 team that won the World Cup of Hockey. He was also a member of the 1998 Olympic team.

“It’s a real thrill to be a part of this,” he said. “USA Hockey has given me a lot of great opportunities.”

Derian Hatcher played 16 seasons in the NHL with three different franchises, including his hometown Detroit Red Wings from 2003 to 2004. Not known for his scoring touch as much as his physical play, Hatcher became the first American-born team captain to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup in 1999, when his Dallas Stars defeated the Buffalo Sabres.

Hatcher was a member of the gold medal squad in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, where he notched five points in six games. He was also a member of two Olympic teams (1998, 2006) and two national teams (1993, 2002).

“The experiences I’ve had … my family and I’ve enjoyed it so much,” he said.

Berglund served on the administrative staff of more than 30 U.S. teams during an international hockey career that spanned five decades.

After finishing a successful collegiate career with Colorado College, Berglund was hired to work at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo. He managed the facility for 13 years and, during that time, he managed three national teams (1973-75).

Berglund served as the general manager for eight national junior teams and five national teams from 1985 to 1990.

“When I started, USA Hockey was a shoebox operation; now it’s a full-fledged organization,” said Bergland. “We’ve developed some of the best players in the game.”

The five inductees join the previous 143 members this fall. This year’s class is only the second to have brothers inducted simultaneously.