SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that T.J. Brennan of the Toronto Marlies has been voted the winner of the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s outstanding defenseman for the 2013-14 season.
The award is voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities.
Putting together one of the most prolific offensive seasons by an AHL defenseman in recent history, Brennan currently ranks tied for fifth in the entire American Hockey League in scoring with 69 points (24 goals and 45 assists) in 73 games – the most points by an AHL defenseman since 2005-06 and the most goals since 1999-2000. He has tallied a league-leading 42 points on the power play and has registered an AHL-high 256 shots on goal for the North Division champion Marlies, while also pacing all league blueliners in power-play goals (12) and game-winning goals (four, tied). Brennan began the season with 10 points – including two hat tricks – in his first three games and has gone on to record 15 multiple-point games and five separate scoring streaks of five games each. Named a First Team AHL All-Star last week, Brennan also represented the Marlies at the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic in St. John’s in February.
A native of Willingboro, N.J., Brennan, 25, is the sixth American-born defenseman to win the Eddie Shore Award in its 56-year history. Brennan was originally selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the second round (31st overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, and signed as a free agent with the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 5, 2013. The fifth-year pro has skated in 298 career AHL games with Toronto, Rochester and Portland, totaling 75 goals and 121 assists for 196 points. He has also tallied four goals and seven assists for 11 points in 40 career NHL games with Buffalo and Florida.
This award, which was first presented by the AHL in 1958-59, honors the late Eddie Shore, a member of both the Hockey Hall of Fame and the American Hockey League Hall of Fame who is widely regarded as one of hockey’s greatest defensemen. Shore won a total of five Calder Cups in his career, including two as the general manager of the Buffalo Bisons and three as the longtime owner of the Springfield Indians. Previous recipients of the Eddie Shore Award include Steve Kraftcheck (1959), Al Arbour (1965), Jim Morrison (1966), Noel Price (1970, ’72, ’76), Brian Engblom (1977), Terry Murray (1978, ’79), Dave Farrish (1982), Brad Shaw (1987), Dave Fenyves (1988, ’89), Eric Weinrich (1990), Darren Rumble (1997), John Slaney (2001, ’02), Niklas Kronwall (2005), Sheldon Brookbank (2007), Johnny Boychuk (2009), Mark Barberio (2012) and Justin Schultz (2013).
In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame. The 2013-14 regular season ends on Saturday, and then 16 clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway next week.