AHL inducts first Hall of Famers

WINNIPEG, Man. … The American Hockey League today inducted the first seven members of the brand new American Hockey League Hall of Fame.

The ceremony took place during the Hockey Hall of Fame/AHL All-Star Classic Luncheon at the Winnipeg Convention Centre, part of the festivities that are making up the 2006 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic.

Honored for their outstanding achievements and contributions in the American Hockey League were Johnny Bower, the winningest goaltender ever in the AHL; Willie Marshall, Fred Glover and Jody Gage, the top three scorers in American Hockey League history; Frank Mathers, all-star defenseman and long-time coach, general manager and president of the Hershey Bears; Eddie Shore, architect of the storied Springfield Indians franchise; and Jack Butterfield, successful general manager and the AHL’s longest-serving president (1966-94).

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 next week.

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.