AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced today that Mark Chipman, governor of the Manitoba Moose and chairman of True North Sports & Entertainment, Ltd., has been named the 2004-05 winner of the James C. Hendy Award as the outstanding executive in the AHL. The award was voted on by the league’s Board of Governors during their annual meeting today in Amelia Island, Fla.
As True North chairman, Chipman was the driving force behind the construction of the MTS Centre, the Moose’s new state-of-the-art downtown home which opened in November. The multi-purpose facility is seen as the major catalyst in Winnipeg’s ongoing business and cultural rebirth, and has been tabbed as the host of the upcoming 2006 AHL All-Star Classic.
With Chipman’s financial and emotional commitment to the team and the city, the Moose showed a 21-point improvement in the AHL standings and advanced to the Western Conference finals, while ranking fourth in the regular season and first in the playoffs in average attendance. The Moose recorded 25 sellouts during the season, including a full capacity crowd of 15,015 for their series-clinching win over Rochester in the North Division final.
Chipman, a member of the AHL’s executive committee, also served as chairman of the league’s strategic planning committee, which was a crucial part of the AHL’s management approach with the labor uncertainty in the National Hockey League leading up to the 2004-05 season.
A noted humanitarian in the Winnipeg community, Chipman has devoted his time and energy to local causes, including the formation of the Moose’s Yearling Foundation, which has donated over $1 million since 1996 to children’s charities throughout the province of Manitoba.
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. Previous winners of the award include Jack Butterfield, Jody Gage, Sam Pollock, Harry Sinden and current AHL president and CEO Dave Andrews.