2006 AHL Hall of Fame inductees named

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced Thursday the seven legends who have been selected to make up the historic inaugural Class of 2006 of the American Hockey League Hall of Fame.

The first inductees into the AHL Hall of Fame are Johnny Bower, Jack Butterfield, Jody Gage, Fred Glover, Willie Marshall, Frank Mathers and Eddie Shore.

“The AHL Board of Governors has unanimously endorsed the selection committee’s recommendation of these seven players and builders as the most significant contributors over our first 70 years,” said David Andrews, AHL President and CEO. “These individuals have established among them over several decades a standard of excellence that has defined our league. We are honored to name them as our first inductees into the AHL Hall of Fame, and to place them at the forefront of what will be a formidable group of hockey legends to be inducted in future years.”

The first class of inductees will be honored as part of the festivities at the 2006 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic in Winnipeg on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.

In a unique effort to make the rich tradition of the AHL available to the widest possible audience, the AHL Hall of Fame will be housed on-line at www.ahlhalloffame.com and will be accessible to fans worldwide with the click of a mouse as the newest member of the AHL Internet Network. The Network also includes theahl.com, caldercup.com and all 27 official team sites, and hosts more than 150 million page views each year. The AHL Hall of Fame site is scheduled to be launched in conjunction with the Feb. 1 induction ceremony.

In operation since 1936, the AHL is celebrating its historic 70th anniversary this season, and continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 80 percent of all NHL players today are AHL graduates, and last year more than 7.1 million fans – an all-time league record – attended AHL games across North America.