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The man who founded the North Stars has died

Walter Bush Jr., the man who founded the Minnesota North Stars in 1966, died Thursday at the age of 86.

His cause of death hasn’t been reported.

Bush grew up in Minneapolis and went to high school at Breck School before playing football and hockey at Dartmouth. He later got his law degree at the University of Minnesota and eventually transitioned into the administrative side of the puck, according to USA Today.

“Walter Bush was a formidable presence at all levels of the hockey world,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in a statement from USA Hockey. “Walter made important and lasting contributions to the sport. His impact was felt, nationally and internationally, in the professional and the amateur ranks, in women’s hockey as well as men’s. Most important, Walter was a wonderful man – loved and respected and a delight to be with.”

Bush’s list of accomplishments is long and impressive:

  • U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame (1980)
  • Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto (2000)
  • IIHF Hall of Fame (2009)
  • USA Hockey President
  • Managed the 1959 U.S. national team
  • Managed the 1964 U.S. Olympic team

Bush was named Chairman of the Board for USA Hockey in 2003 and he kept the job until his passing.

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