September 5, 2012

IIHF VP Costello to receive Gretzky International Award

By Jesse Connolly

USA Hockey announced Wednesday that Murray Costello, the vice president of the IIHF, will receive the Wayne Gretzky International Award as part of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony and dinner on Oct. 15.

Originally presented to its namesake in 1999, the award pays tribute to international individuals who have made major contributions to the growth and advancement of hockey in the U.S.

Costello (pictured right), 78, is a native of South Porcupine, Ontario. He has been an IIHF council member since ’98 and served as VP since 2008.

"Murray Costello has been a wonderful contributor to hockey's growth in the United States, as well as the world," said Ron DeGregorio, president of USA Hockey. "During his time with the IIHF and Hockey Canada, he has been incredibly forthcoming with the spread of knowledge and ideas that can positively impact American administrators, coaches and players of all ages."

Long a proponent of women’s hockey, Costello was instrumental in Hockey Canada hosting the inaugural IIHF Women’s World Championship in 1990, when he was president of the organization.

In 1953-54, Costello made his NHL debut for the Blackhawks. He notched five points in his first season in the league. In the fall of 1954, the Bruins sent Frank Martin to Chicago, acquiring Costello. The 6-foot-3 center spent parts of two seasons with the Black and Gold, racking up 27 points in 96 contests.

After 27 games with the Red Wings and some time in the Western Hockey League, Costello retired.

In 2005, Costello was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder. The 2005 class featured two players: late great Russian Valeri Kharlamov and Bruins legend Cam Neely.

Past recipients of the Wayne Gretzky International Award include Anatoli Tarasov (2008), Herb Brooks (2004), Bobby Hull (2003), Scotty Bowman (2002), Scotty Morrison (2001), the Howe family (2000) and Wayne Gretzky (1999).

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.