SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League today announced the four people selected for induction into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame as the Class of 2015.
Honored by the AHL Hall of Fame Selection Committee as the 10th group of enshrinees are Frederic Cassivi, James C. Hendy, Bronco Horvath and Art Stratton.
“The American Hockey League is built on the outstanding achievements and contributions of those who have excelled here over nearly eight decades,” said David Andrews, AHL President and Chief Executive Officer. “The AHL Board of Governors is proud to unanimously approve the Selection Committee’s recommendation for the induction of these four individuals into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame.”
The Class of 2015 will be honored as part of the festivities at the 2015 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino, hosted by the Utica Comets. The American Hockey League Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony is scheduled for January 26, 2015, at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.
Formed in 2006 to recognize, honor and celebrate individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions in the American Hockey League, the AHL Hall of Fame is housed online at www.AHLHallofFame.com and is accessible to fans worldwide with the click of a mouse as part of the AHL Internet Network.
In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, executives and broadcasters of all 30 National Hockey League teams, as well as the NHL’s on-ice officials. By season’s end in 2013-14, more than 88 percent of all NHL players were American Hockey League graduates, including more than 200 former first- and second-round draft picks and more than 300 players who appeared in both leagues last season alone.
A native of Sorel, Que., Frederic Cassivi spent most of his 15 professional seasons in the American Hockey League, becoming one of the most successful goaltenders of the league’s modern era.
Cassivi was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in 1994 and won 20 games for their AHL affiliate in Charlottetown, P.E.I., as a rookie in 1995-96. After stops in Syracuse and Worcester, Cassivi signed with the Colorado Avalanche and was selected to represent the Hershey Bears at the AHL All-Star Classic in 2001.
Cassivi was acquired by the Atlanta Thrashers and made his NHL debut in 2002, and later that season he helped the Chicago Wolves capture the Calder Cup championship in their first year as members of the American Hockey League. After two more seasons with Chicago, Cassivi joined the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks and set career bests with a 2.07 goals-against average, a .928 save percentage and 10 shutouts in 2004-05.
Signing with the Washington Capitals in the summer of 2005 brought Cassivi back to Hershey, and he followed a 34-19-6 record in the 2005-06 regular season with a 16-5 run through the playoffs, earning the Jack Butterfield Trophy as postseason MVP and bringing the Bears a Calder Cup championship.
Cassivi played two more seasons in Hershey, making a return trip to the Calder Cup Finals in 2007, and retired having played 500 regular-season games in the AHL – one of only seven goaltenders in league history to reach that plateau – and ranking fifth all-time with 232 wins.
JAMES C. HENDY
James C. Hendy was an executive and writer who found fame both as a general manager and as a hockey historian.
Growing up around rinks in Vancouver and New York, Hendy had a limited formal education but held several jobs, including filing game reports from Madison Square Garden. His acumen and attention to detail led to him collecting and publishing player statistics, and he is widely credited with developing the methods for tracking basic player and team data that are still in use 80 years later.
Hendy took over as general manager of the AHL’s Cleveland Barons in 1949 and became one of the storied franchise’s most popular figures. In 1949-50, the Barons became the first team in AHL history to reach 100 points in the standings, and they would go on to reach the postseason in each of Hendy’s 11 campaigns, capturing four Calder Cups in seven seasons between 1951 and 1957. For his efforts, Hendy was twice named the Hockey Executive of the Year by The Hockey News.
Midway through his 12th season with the Barons, Hendy suffered a fatal heart attack on Jan. 14, 1961. He was just 54.
One of the most respected executives the sport ever knew, Hendy was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 1968 and was honored with the prestigious Lester Patrick Trophy in 1970. Since 1961, the AHL has presented the James C. Hendy Memorial Award annually to the executive who has made the most outstanding contribution to the American Hockey League.
Bronco Horvath was a gifted offensive player over his 20-year professional career, starring in both the American Hockey League and the National Hockey League.
A native of Port Colborne, Ont., Horvath recorded 38 points in 43 games as a rookie with the AHL’s Springfield Indians in 1950-51, then bettered his offensive output in each of the next three years while skating with the Syracuse Warriors. He was later voted a First Team AHL All-Star at center in 1956-57 after leading the Rochester Americans with 81 points in just 56 contests.
Horvath spent most of the next six seasons in the NHL, where he was an All-Star in 1960 and 1961, but would return to Rochester to anchor one of the AHL’s most impressive dynasties. With Horvath totaling 303 points in 258 games from 1964-68, the Amerks reached an unprecedented and unmatched four consecutive Calder Cup Finals and won three championships. Horvath earned Second Team AHL All-Star nods in 1964 and 1965.
Horvath continued to produce until his retirement in 1970, and finished his AHL career with 263 goals and 484 assists for 747 points in 666 regular-season games. He recorded 542 of those points in a Rochester Americans uniform, ranking third all-time in franchise scoring.
Winnipeg native Art Stratton played for seven teams in the American Hockey League and five more in the National Hockey League over his 20 professional seasons, but he will likely always have a home in the AHL record books.
Stratton made his pro debut with the AHL’s Cleveland Barons in 1955-56, skating in one regular-season game and one playoff contest. In his first full season in the league, Stratton put up 76 points in 62 games for Cleveland in 1958-59, and after parts of two years with the Springfield Indians, he joined the Buffalo Bisons in 1961.
Stratton’s reputation as an elite playmaker was solidified in 1962-63, when he led the AHL with 70 assists and finished fourth in the league scoring race with 90 points, earning his first of three consecutive First Team AHL All-Star selections and eventually helping the Bisons to the Calder Cup championship. On March 17, 1963, Stratton tallied nine assists and nine points in Buffalo’s 11-2 win over Pittsburgh, both single-game AHL records that still stand today.
Stratton was named league MVP in 1964-65 after leading the league with 84 assists and 109 points, then returned to the AHL in 1971 with the Tidewater Wings. He led the Wings in scoring in 1972-73, setting an AHL career high with 30 goals, and with Rochester in 1973-74 he captured his second MVP award after tallying a league-leading 71 assists and a team-high 95 points. Stratton made his final AHL appearance with the Richmond Robins in 1974-75, averaging nearly a point per game at age 38.
Stratton, who also holds the AHL record for most times leading the league in assists (four), ranks sixth all-time with 555 helpers while totaling 766 points in 669 career AHL games.