Brennan wins second Eddie Shore Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that T.J. Brennan of the Toronto Marlies is the winner of the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s outstanding defenseman for the 2015-16 season. The award is voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities. 

Brennan captures the Eddie Shore Award for the second time in the last three seasons on the strength of a career year in 2015-16, during which he has recorded 24 goals and 43 assists for 67 points along with a plus-36 rating in 67 games for Toronto entering the final week of the regular season. Currently third in the AHL in overall scoring, Brennan leads league defensemen in goals, assists (tied), points and power-play goals (8, tied), and he is first in points and second in plus/minus on a Marlies team that leads the AHL in offense (3.90 goals scored per game) and ranks sixth in defense (2.53 goals allowed per game) while also boasting the best record in the league. Brennan, named a 2015-16 First Team AHL All-Star last week, appeared in his third consecutive AHL All-Star Classic this winter. 

A seventh-year pro from Willingboro, N.J., Brennan has skated in 441 career AHL games with Portland, Rochester, Toronto and Rockford, totaling 112 goals (fifth all-time among AHL defensemen) and 206 assists for 318 points. Brennan has also tallied five goals and eight assists in 53 career National Hockey League contests, including one goal in seven NHL games with Toronto this season. Originally a second-round draft choice by Buffalo in 2007, Brennan is in his second stint with the Maple Leafs organization, re-acquired from Chicago on Feb. 26, 2015. 

Brennan becomes the seventh multiple-time winner of the Eddie Shore Award, which was first presented by the AHL in 1958-59 in honor of the late Eddie Shore, a member of both the Hockey Hall of Fame and the American Hockey League Hall of Fame who is widely regarded as one of hockey’s greatest defensemen. Shore won a total of seven Calder Cups in his career, including two as the general manager of the Buffalo Bisons and five as the longtime owner of the Springfield Indians. Previous recipients of the Eddie Shore Award include Steve Kraftcheck (1959), Bob McCord (1961, ’67), Al Arbour (1965), Jim Morrison (1966), Noel Price (1970, ’72, ’76), Brian Engblom (1977), Terry Murray (1978, ’79), Dave Farrish (1982), Brad Shaw (1987), Dave Fenyves (1988, ’89), Eric Weinrich (1990), Darren Rumble (1997), John Slaney (2001, ’02), Curtis Murphy (2003, ’04), Niklas Kronwall (2005), Johnny Boychuk (2009), Mark Barberio (2012), Justin Schultz (2013) and Chris Wideman (2015). 

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 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 2015-16 regular season ends Sunday, and then 16 clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway next week. 

The winner of the 2015-16 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award (AHL man of the year) will be announced Wednesday.