AHL honors excellence for 2012-13

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced today that the league has named the 2012-13 recipients of several awards for excellence and service to the league.

The announcements came Wednesday evening at a gala reception during the league’s annual meeting of the Board of Governors at Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Chicago Wolves president of business operations Mike Gordon has been named the winner of the James C. Hendy Memorial Award as the outstanding executive in the American Hockey League for 2012-13. Since joining the organization in 2009, Gordon has implemented business strategies that have resulted in increased sponsorship and sales revenues, and his involvement in the league’s Team Business Services program has provided other teams the opportunity to use these tactics as best practices in their own organizations. In 2012-13, the Wolves ranked second in the league in attendance averaging 8,230 fans per game, finishing among the top four for the 12th consecutive season since joining the AHL in 2001.

The James C. Hendy Award is named for the late Jim Hendy, a Hockey Hall of Famer and long-time statistician and historian for the AHL who won four Calder Cups as general manager of the original Cleveland Barons.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins chief executive officer Jeff Barrett was honored with the Thomas Ebright Award in recognition of career contributions to the AHL. Barrett has overseen the operation of the Penguins since the team’s inception in May 1998 – first as team president and now as CEO since 2004 – building one of minor professional sports’ model franchises. Barrett’s sports managerial career began 25 years ago as the event coordinator for the Glens Falls Civic Center and its primary tenant, the AHL’s Adirondack Red Wings.

The Thomas Ebright Award honors Tom Ebright, the former owner and governor of the Baltimore Skipjacks and Portland Pirates who passed away in 1997.

The Toronto Marlies and Tyler Johnson of the Syracuse Crunch were named the 2012-13 winners of the President’s Awards.

The Toronto Marlies maintained their trend of business growth in 2012-13, continuing to forge their identity in Canada’s largest metropolitan area. The Marlies averaged 6,681 fans per home game in 2012-13 – a league-leading increase of 21.9 percent over the 2011-12 season and nearly 3,000 fans per game better than their total just four years ago – and showed increases in ticket sales and corporate sales that were also among the largest in the league. The Marlies, who on the ice won their second consecutive division title and saw 13 players also skate for the parent Maple Leafs, are active participants in the community as well, running practices at local rinks, addressing issues such as bullying at school assemblies, and visiting patients and their families at the SickKids children’s hospital.

Undrafted out of the Western Hockey League where he played for his hometown Spokane (Wash.) Chiefs, Tyler Johnson followed up his breakout rookie season with an MVP performance in 2012-13. The 22-year-old Johnson led the AHL with 37 goals and finished with 65 points in 62 games, then followed up with 21 points in 18 playoff games to help the Crunch reach the franchise’s first Calder Cup Finals. Johnson also made an impression during his first recall to the National Hockey League, chipping in with three goals and three assists in 14 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The President’s Awards are given to an AHL organization for excellence in all areas off the ice, and to an AHL player in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments in the past year.

Veteran linesman Bob Goodman has been named the 2012-13 recipient of the Michael Condon Memorial Award for outstanding contributions by an on-ice official. A highly regarded and respected member of the AHL officiating staff since 1992, Goodman has worked hundreds of games over the last 21 years, including the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic, outdoor games in Philadelphia and Hershey, and the Calder Cup Finals in 2008 and 2010. Off the ice, Goodman is a graduate of the Penn State College of Medicine and is a licensed anesthesiologist working around his native Hershey, Pa.

The Michael Condon Memorial Award was created in 2002 following the sudden passing of veteran AHL linesman Mike Condon.

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 87 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the 12th year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2012-13.