SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that center Corey Locke of the Binghamton Senators has been named the winner of the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s most valuable player for the 2010-11 season, as voted by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities.
Locke leads the American Hockey League with 65 assists and 86 points for Binghamton this season, establishing career highs in assists, points and plus/minus (plus-13) while helping the Senators to their first Calder Cup Playoff berth in six years. Locke, who has recorded a point in 54 of his 69 games played for Binghamton, will finish as his team’s scoring leader for the fourth consecutive season and is poised to claim his first AHL scoring title. Locke has put together seven different scoring streaks of at least five games apiece, including a 12-game run from Oct. 23 to Nov. 20.
Named a First Team AHL All-Star last week, Locke represented Binghamton at the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic – his fifth career appearance – and extended his own league record with his 10th and 11th career All-Star Game points.
A 26-year-old native of Toronto, Locke joined the Ottawa Senators organization as a free agent on July 7, 2010. He has recorded 162 goals and 317 assists for 479 points in 535 career AHL games during his seven pro seasons and also has one assist in nine career NHL games, recording his first NHL point for Ottawa on Jan. 13, 2011. Locke won a Calder Cup championship with Hamilton in 2007 and has tallied 45 points in 46 career AHL postseason games.
This award, which was first presented in 1948, honors the late Les Cunningham, a 2009 AHL Hall of Fame inductee who was a five-time league All-Star and three-time Calder Cup champion with the original Cleveland Barons. Previous winners include Carl Liscombe (1948, ’49), Johnny Bower (1956, ’57, ’58), Fred Glover (1960, ’62, ’64), Mike Nykoluk (1967), Gilles Villemure (1969, ’70), Doug Gibson (1975, ’77), Pelle Lindbergh (1981), Ross Yates (1983), Paul Gardner (1985, ’86), Tim Tookey (1987), Jody Gage (1988), John Anderson (1992), Derek Armstrong (2001), Jason Ward (2003), Jason LaBarbera (2004), Jason Spezza (2005), Darren Haydar (2007), Jason Krog (2008), Alexandre Giroux (2009) and Keith Aucoin (2010).
Celebrating its historic 75th anniversary season in 2010-11, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 85 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 2010-11 season ends on Apr. 10, and 16 clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway next week.