Andrews to receive Lester Patrick Trophy

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The National Hockey League announced today that American Hockey League President & CEO David Andrews has been named a recipient of the 2010 Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.

The award, one of the most prestigious in hockey, was presented to the NHL by the New York Rangers in 1966. It honors the memory of Lester Patrick, who spent 50 years in hockey as a player, coach and general manager and was a pioneer in the sport’s development.

Andrews will be honored at a reception in Boston in late October along with his fellow recipients – Hockey Hall of Famer Cam Neely and college coaching legends Jack Parker and Jerry York.

“I’m deeply honored by this award and truly humbled to be amongst a list of former recipients that includes many of the legends in hockey,” Andrews said. “I am very grateful to the selection committee and to the National Hockey League for this great honor.”

Since assuming the AHL presidency in 1994, Andrews has guided the league through a period of explosive and unprecedented growth, directing the league to record levels of attendance and exposure while expanding its geography across the United States and Canada. Under his direction, the AHL has become the sole primary development league for all 30 National Hockey League organizations and will be operating with an all-time high of 30 teams during its historic 75th anniversary season in 2010-11.

The AHL’s footprint has grown dramatically under Andrews, with successful franchises throughout the Northeast, Midwest, and in major United States markets such as Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Milwaukee, San Antonio and, beginning in 2010-11, Charlotte and Oklahoma City. During Andrews’ tenure, the AHL and its teams – in the regular season and in marquee events like the annual AHL All-Star Classic and Calder Cup Playoffs – have been showcased to worldwide audiences on television, on satellite radio and on the Internet through live online video streaming.

A native of Nova Scotia, Andrews starred as a goaltender for Dalhousie University and the University of British Columbia before playing four seasons professionally. He served as head coach of the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Cougars from 1982-84 and as director of AHL operations for the Edmonton Oilers for seven years, including the Cape Breton Oilers’ 1993 Calder Cup championship season.

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. More than 85 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the ninth year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2009-10.