Eagles’ Riches named winner of Ken McKenzie Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League has selected Gavin Riches, executive vice president of the Colorado Eagles, as the winner of the league’s Ken McKenzie Award for the 2021-22 season.

Recognizing the important role played by team management in building a successful franchise, the Ken McKenzie Award is presented annually to an AHL team executive who most successfully promotes his or her own club.

Riches’ passion for the Eagles and the Northern Colorado community is the driving force behind the organization’s long-standing culture of excellence. As an integral member of the team’s front office since 2004, Riches oversees all aspects of the Eagles’ marketing, digital content, public relations, community relations and corporate partnership efforts, as well as the game-night experience at Budweiser Events Center.

With his leadership and commitment, the Eagles have improved in every area of operation this season and experienced all-time highs in revenues, including 28 sellouts during the regular season and Calder Cup Playoffs. Riches has been responsible for the creation of several successful theme nights and promotions, including the Eagles’ annual Military Night and Eagles Fight Cancer Night. He has also managed many business projects and civic relationships, continuing to help grow and improve the organization as a whole at the highest level.

The AHL’s Ken McKenzie Award, first presented in 1978, honors Ken McKenzie, the founder and long-time publisher of The Hockey News and a 1997 media honoree by the Hockey Hall of Fame as the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award winner. Mr. McKenzie was also the NHL’s first publicity director and creator of its first media guide.

In operation since 1936, the AHL serves as the top development league for all 32 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.