SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews has announced the 2007-08 recipients of three awards for excellence and service to the league. The announcement came Thursday at the closing reception and awards dinner to conclude the league’s annual meeting of the Board of Governors at Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Doug Yingst, president and general manager of the Hershey Bears, has been honored with the Thomas Ebright Award in recognition of career contributions to the AHL. Yingst has been with the Bears organization for 26 years, beginning as their sales and promotions director in 1982 and eventually being named GM in 1996 and team president in 1998. Hershey has been one of the league’s most successful franchises on and off the ice in recent years, winning the Calder Cup in 2006 and returning to the Finals in 2007, while also leading the league in attendance in each of the last two seasons. Yingst represents Hershey on the AHL Board of Governors and serves on the league’s executive committee.
The Thomas Ebright Award honors Tom Ebright, the former owner and governor of the Baltimore Skipjacks and Portland Pirates who passed away in 1997.
Norfolk Admirals vice president and assistant general manager Mark Bernard has been named the winner of the James C. Hendy Memorial Award as the outstanding executive in the American Hockey League for 2007-08. Under Bernard’s guidance, the Admirals have seen significant increases in corporate sponsorships, advertising revenue and ticket sales, including six of the 10 largest single-game crowds in club history. Bernard has also overseen many fundraising efforts and instituted the Admirals Hall of Fame. Bernard will be leaving the Admirals at the end of this month to accept a front-office position with the Chicago Blackhawks.
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.
Referee Terry Koharski has been named the recipient of the Michael Condon Memorial Award for outstanding contributions by an on-ice official. Koharski, who has worked 12 seasons in the AHL and officiated the 2005 AHL All-Star Game and the 2007 Calder Cup Finals, has played a major role throughout his career in contributing to the development and advancement of many of today’s top AHL and NHL officials. His dedication, professionalism and wealth of experience are an asset to his fellow referees and linesmen who work with him.
The Michael Condon Memorial Award was created in 2002 following the sudden passing of veteran AHL linesman Mike Condon.