SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews has announced that the league has named the 2018-19 recipients of several awards for excellence and service to the AHL.
The winners were recognized Thursday evening at a gala reception during the Board of Governors’ Annual Meeting at Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Springfield Thunderbirds president Nathan Costa has been selected as the winner of the James C. Hendy Memorial Award, given to the outstanding executive in the American Hockey League for 2018-19.
Costa has reenergized professional hockey in his hometown of Springfield, Mass., with passion, creativity and dedication at the helm of the Thunderbirds. The club has seen dramatic increases in attendance and a renewal of support from civic leaders and corporate partners, and through Costa’s leadership the Thunderbirds have quickly become an integral part of the Springfield community, including creating additional excitement and awareness around the American Hockey League through their successful hosting of the 2019 All-Star Classic.
The James C. Hendy Award is named for the late Jim Hendy, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and AHL Hall of Fame and long-time statistician and historian for the AHL who won four Calder Cups as general manager of the Cleveland Barons.
Todd Frederickson, president of the Iowa Wild, was honored with the Thomas Ebright Award in recognition of career contributions to the AHL.
Frederickson has been responsible for all of the Wild’s business efforts – which have been recognized with league awards in areas including corporate sales, digital media, fan experience, promotions and community relations – since the team was formed in 2013. He has built Iowa into a premier AHL market, with yearly attendance and business growth and steadfast commitment to the local community.
Prior to joining the Wild organization, Frederickson headed up the AHL’s Team Business Services department for five years, creating the foundation for the program that continues to establish business practices for all member clubs. He also spent 11 seasons (1996-2007) with the Chicago Wolves including three years as their executive director of ticket sales, during which the team led the AHL in attendance in 2004-05.
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 Iowa Wild (team of the year) and Andrew Poturalski of the Charlotte Checkers (player excellence) were named the 2018-19 winners of the President’s Awards.
The Iowa Wild had a memorable 2018-19 season both on and off the ice, highlighted by a trip to the Calder Cup Playoffs for the first time in franchise history. The Wild set no fewer than 53 team records on the ice – including most wins and most goals scored – and drew more than 270,000 fans to games at Wells Fargo Arena, where they continue to be a league leader in fan experience. They also established new organizational benchmarks for both group ticket sales and overall ticket sales, continued to be an innovator in digital and social media business practices, and maintained their strong ties to the Des Moines community, with forward Landon Ferraro earning the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award as the AHL’s man of the year.
Forward Andrew Poturalski had a breakthrough season for Charlotte in 2018-19. The third-year pro from Williamsville, N.Y., set career highs in goals (23), assists (47) and points (70), finishing fifth in the league in scoring and earning selection as a Second Team AHL All-Star as the Checkers earned the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as regular-season champions. Poturalski elevated his play even further in the postseason: playing through a broken foot, he led the AHL in goals (12), points (23) and plus/minus rating (+15) and earned the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as the most valuable player of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs as the Checkers captured their first championship.
Established in 2009, the President’s Awards are given to an AHL organization and/or player for overall excellence in the past year.
Veteran linesmen Fred Hudy and Carl Sasyn have been named the 2018-19 co-recipients of the Michael Condon Memorial Award for outstanding contributions by an on-ice official.
Based in the greater Houston area, Hudy and Sasyn have been members of the league’s officiating staff since 2001 and 2005, respectively, and continue to work games in San Antonio and Cedar Park while providing leadership and excellence in performance for the league’s officials in that region. Both Hudy (2010) and Sasyn (2010, 2011, 2014) have been selected by the AHL to work games in the Calder Cup Finals, and continue to take great pride in representing and upholding the standards expected of them and their fellow officials.
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 serves as the top development league for all 31 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.