Bass named AHL Man of the Year

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League has announced that center Cody Bass of the Binghamton Senators has been selected the winner of the Yanick Dupré Memorial Award as the 2010-11 IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year. The award is presented annually to an AHL player for his outstanding contributions to his local community and charitable organizations.

A fourth-year member of the Senators organization, Bass has always been eager to be involved in the local community. But this season, he was motivated to do even more. Devastated by the death in November of Daron Richardson, the 14-year-old daughter of Ottawa assistant coach Luke Richardson, Bass established WINGS, which stands for When I Need Guidance and Support. The foundation was created to increase awareness of teen suicide and help raise money to further programs in both Binghamton and Ottawa that work to prevent suicide in teens and young adults.

WINGS has been received with overwhelming support from throughout the hockey community, and fundraising efforts were highlighted by an outdoor skate in late February that saw hundreds of fans brave freezing temperatures to join Bass and his Senators teammates in support of the cause.

Bass’s contributions to the community have gone beyond WINGS, however, as he continued to volunteer for and participate in various other outreach opportunities. In addition to reading to students at local elementary schools and contributing to various charitable auctions, Bass has lent his support to teammates in their own community relations activities, including joining defenseman Eric Gryba on an ice fishing trip organized for the Broome Developmental Center, which assists people with developmental disabilities.

A 24-year-old native of Owen Sound, Ont., Bass was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in 2005 and has played 170 games with Binghamton and 33 more with Ottawa in his four professional seasons.

The AHL’s annual Man of the Year award is named after the late Yanick Dupré, who passed away in 1997 at the age of 24 following a 16-month battle with leukemia. A second-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in 1991, Dupré played four seasons in the AHL with the Hershey Bears, and participated in the 1995 AHL All-Star Game.

Celebrating its historic 75th anniversary season in 2010-11, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 85 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame. The 2010-11 season ends on Apr. 10, and 16 clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway next week.