Lynn Patrick was the son of Hall of Famer Lester Patrick and grew up on Canada's West Coast while his father operated the Pacific Coast Hockey Association with Lynn's uncle, Frank Patrick. The Patricks would come to be known as "Hockey's Royal Family" but Lynn grew up in a mainly non-hockey environment and didn't play organized hockey until he moved to Montreal in his late teens.
Patrick was inspired by his father and uncle, and had always wanted to be a professional hockey player. However, when the Victoria rink was burned down by fire in 1929 Lynn did not have the chance to skate again until he moved to Montreal in 1933. He played with the Montreal Royals that season and was signed, rather reluctantly, by his father to a contract with the New York Rangers for the 1934-35 season. There were many charges of nepotism and Lynn had to endure more than his share of ridicule from the Rangers' fans and press. But, he persevered and was selected as the National Hockey League's First Team All-Star left wing in 1942 and was a Second Team selection in 1943. He was a member of the Rangers' 1940 Stanley Cup winning team and led the league with 32 goals two years later in 1941-42.
He retired in 1947 and became the coach of the New Haven Ramblers in the American Hockey League and replaced Frank Boucher as coach of the Rangers the following season. Patrick moved on to coach the Boston Bruins in 1950-51, held the dual post of coach and general manager with the Bruins in 1954-55, and then continued as the Bruins
GM until 1965. As the first GM/coach of the St. Louis Blues, Patrick introduced Scotty Bowman to his first big-league coaching assignment. Patrick later assumed the role of vice-president with the Blues and occasionally helped behind the bench until retiring from hockey in 1977. His sons Craig and Glenn continued the family tradition of being involved in hockey at the highest levels, Craig being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.
Lynn Patrick was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1980.