Brooks leaves behind a lasting legacy

Updated: August 12, 2003, 2:03 PM ET
By By Jim Wilkie | NHL Insider
Hockey lost one of the greatest contributors to the growth of the game in the United States on Monday with the shocking death of "Miracle on Ice" head coach Herb Brooks in an automobile accident north of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

By leading the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team over the heavily favored Soviet Union and ultimately the gold medal at Lake Placid, N.Y., Brooks orchestrated one of the greatest upsets in sports history, inspired countless young hockey players and brought the game to thousands who previously paid little attention to the sport.

"That Olympic team inspired me, I know that," Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch told The New York Times. "Seeing them beat the Russians and then the Finns to win the gold medal, that was something."