When it comes to hockey talent, the apple doesn’t fall far from the family tree, such as in the case of the Johnson and Eaves families. In the case of the Granatos and Millers, bloodlines run deep and are passed on from brother to sister, and cousin to cousin. Here’s a look at some of the more notable American hockey families:
Bill, Roger and David Christian
The Christian family was in the business of winning gold medals and manufacturing hockey sticks. Brothers Bill and Roger grew up in Warroad, Minn., and were the original golden boys that won the 1960 Olympic Games in Squaw Valley, Calif. Both Roger and Bill came up big for Team USA, scoring game-winning goals and leading come-from-behind victories en route to the gold medal. Bill’s son, Dave, was part of the Miracle on Ice, the gold-medal successors to the 1960 team. Dave went on to play in more than 1,000 NHL games. Following the 1960 Games, the brothers started manufacturing their own line of sticks, appropriately branded Christian Brothers.
Bill and Bob Cleary
Another dynamic duo of the 1960 U.S. Olympic Team was the Cleary brothers, Bob and Bill. The brothers are legendary figures in Massachusetts hockey history. They were standouts at Belmont Hill prep school, where older brother Bob led his team to three consecutive Massachusetts private school titles. Bob went on to lead the nation in scoring in consecutive years at Harvard University, while Bill followed at Harvard several years later, setting several school scoring records. The late addition of the Clearys on the 1960 team paid off, as Bill led the 1960 team in scoring with Bob finishing third. Bill went on to a long career as coach and athletics director at his college alma mater.
Chris and Ted Drury
A Hobey Baker winner at Boston University, Chris Drury is one of the most feared playmakers in the NHL. A native of Trumbull, Conn., Chris will be playing close to home this season when he suits up for the New York Rangers. His older brother, Ted, played in more than 400 NHL games and was a member of Team USA for the 1992 and 1994 Olympic Winter Games. He is currently playing in Europe. Chris also wore the red, white and blue sweater for the 2002 and 2006 Olympics.
Mike, Ben and Patrick Eaves
After eight seasons in the NHL with the Minnesota North Stars and Calgary Flames, Mike began a long and distinguished coaching career that includes leading the U.S. World Junior Team to its first gold medal in 2004. The following season he returned to his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, and won a national title in 2006. His son, Patrick, was born in Calgary but grew up in Fairbault, Minn. Patrick played three seasons at Boston College and just completed his second season with the Ottawa Senators. He was also a member of the 2004 U.S. World Junior team. His brother Ben plays in the Pittsburgh Penguins system.
Chris and Peter Ferraro
Twin brothers Chris and Peter have been practically inseparable since birth. The Port Jefferson, N.Y., brothers played together for three years of Junior hockey in the USHL as well as two World Junior Championships with Team USA and two seasons at the University of Maine. Peter was selected in the first round of the 1992 NHL Draft by the New York Rangers, followed by the blue shirts picking up Chris three rounds later. Despite playing in just two games with the Rangers during his rookie season, Chris’s only goal came on an assist from his brother. After their second season in New York, the duo was released and signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was during the 1998-99 season when Chris signed with the Edmonton Oilers that the brothers split up for the first time.
Tony, Don and Cammi Granato
No player embodies U.S. women’s hockey more than Cammi Granato. She was the face of Team USA as the all-time leading scorer and was captain from the team’s inception in 1990. She led Team USA to the first gold medal for women’s hockey in the 1998 Olympics and added a silver in the 2002 Olympics. Older brother Tony represented the United States in several World Championships and the 1988 Olympics. He played 13 seasons in the NHL with the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks, including three 30-goal seasons with the Kings. He now coaches with the Colorado Avalanche. After four years at the University of Wisconsin and two years in the ECHL, brother Don embarked on a coaching career in the USHL, ECHL and AHL.
Bob and Mark Johnson
“Badger Bob” is perhaps one of the most influential figures in American hockey, and his son, Mark, is cast in history as part of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team. Bob is a coaching legend at the University of Wisconsin, where he led the men’s team to three national championships. He went on to coach several U.S. national teams and serve as executive director for USA Hockey. Mark is following in his father’s coaching footsteps. He led the Badgers women’s team to consecutive national titles in 2006 and 2007 and also served as a coach of the U.S. women’s national team for international competition through 2006-07.
Peter, David, Mike and Max McNab
Peter was a standout player during three seasons at the University of Denver. He played in more than 950 NHL games during his 14-year career, and was a consistent producer who reached the 20-goal mark 10 times in his career, including two 40-goal seasons with the Boston Bruins. His brother, David, was the goaltender for the 1977 national champion Wisconsin Badgers. Both Peter and David are still involved in the game. Peter is the color analyst for the Colorado Avalanche, and David is the assistant general manager for the Anaheim Ducks. Their dad Max is a retired NHL executive.
Kip, Kelly, Kevin, Ryan and Drew Miller
Two players in the history of Michigan State hockey have won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the top collegiate player, and both are named Miller. Kip, the last among three brothers to play for the Spartans, won the Hobey in 1990. His cousin, Ryan, was the recipient in 2001, becoming only the second goalie to earn the award. From 1981-90, there was a Miller suiting up for the Spartans. Kelly, the eldest brother, went on to play in more than 1,000 NHL games, while the middle brother, Kevin, appeared in 620 games. Kip continues his distinguished career skating with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL. Cousin Ryan, a backstopper for the Buffalo Sabres, is one of the premier goalies in the NHL, and his brother, Drew, was part of the Stanley Cup winning Anaheim Ducks in 2007.
Joe and Brian Mullen
Brothers Brian and Joe grew up playing roller hockey in the streets of Hell’s Kitchen, N.Y., and both had successful professional careers. Older brother Joe played four seasons at Boston College and was a member of the consecutive Stanley Cup winning Pittsburgh Penguins in the early 1990s. He was also the first American-born player to reach the 1,000-point milestone. Brian played his collegiate hockey with the University of Wisconsin before entering the league in 1982, in which he produced a 50-point rookie season. His playing career ended abruptly after he suffered a mild stroke in 1993.
Gary, Bob and Ryan Suter
The Suter name is synonymous with defense and Madison, Wis. Gary was a rugged defenseman who patrolled the blue line for 17 seasons in the NHL. He was the Calder Trophy winner as the league’s top rookie in 1986, and won a Stanley Cup in 1989 with the Calgary Flames. His brother, Bob, was a defenseman on the 1980 gold medal Olympic team. The next generation of Suter defenders is Bob’s son, Ryan, who will be entering his third season with the Nashville Predators. J