As a young lad, James Patrick was no stranger to public life in and out of professional sports. His father, Stephen, played 13 seasons for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL and also served as a member of the Manitoba Parliament.
It was in this setting that the younger Patrick fashioned a vision for his life that balanced his athletic life with academics and worldly experience. He played one year of junior with the Prince Albert Raiders before heading to the University of North Dakota where, in 1981-82, where he helped lead the Sioux to an NCAA championship.
Aside from his National Championship in 1982, Patrick captured numerous honours while at UND, including; WCHA Second Team All-Star (1982), WCHA Freshman of the Year (1982), NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team (1982), WCHA First All-Star Team (1983) and NCAA West All-American Team (1983). In the fall of 1983, Ptrick joined Canada's National Team, in an experience that culminated in a trip to the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics.
As property of the New York Rangers, who drafted him ninth overall in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft, Patrick then made his debut with the Blueshirts, a move that marked the beginning of more than nine seasons on Broadway. After much anticipation from Ranger fans and management, he settled in as a blueliner with good technical skills and an outstanding ability to make smooth transitions between offense and defense. Once again in 1987 Patrick represented his homeland on the international stage, as part of Canada's series victory of the Soviet Union at the 1987 Canada Cup.
Patrick's personal grounding, intelligence and strong positional play have allowed him to sustain 20+ years of NHL play. He left the Rangers early in 1993-94 for a brief stint in Hartford before heading West to join the Calgary Flames for four seasons. Since then, Patrick brought his veteran blueline ppresence to the Buffalo Sabres where remained through the 2003-04 season before calling it a career in the summer of 2005.
Aside from his Olympic and Canada Cup experience, Patrick has represented his country at the World Junior Championships (1983) and the World Championships (1983, 1987, 1989, 1998 and 2002).