SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Larry Figurski, sports anchor and reporter for WOOD TV8 and color commentator for Grand Rapids Griffins games on Newsradio WOOD 1300 and 106.9 FM, has been selected as the recipient of the James H. Ellery Memorial Award for the 2019-20 season.
The James H. Ellery Memorial Award is presented annually in recognition of outstanding media coverage of the American Hockey League. It was first presented in 1964-65 and honors the late Jim Ellery, who served the AHL for 17 years as league secretary and publicity director until his death in 1964.
An Emmy Award winner and one of Grand Rapids’ most popular television personalities, Figurski has worked in the West Michigan TV market since 1996 and at WOOD TV8 since 2000 in both the news and sports departments. He is a regular at Griffins team practices, frequently reports live from Van Andel Arena prior to games, and often travels to provide exclusive road coverage of the team during the Calder Cup Playoffs. Figurski also hosts a weekly “Sports Overtime” show, inviting members of the Griffins as guests several times throughout the year. In June, Figurski worked with the Griffins to produce a re-broadcast of their 2017 Calder Cup championship, co-hosting the event and conducting interviews with players and coaches via video conference.
As color commentator for Griffins games since 2000, Figurski and play-by-play voice Bob Kaser – a former Ellery Award winner himself – have received the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Broadcast Excellence Award 10 times.
In operation since 1936, the AHL serves as the top development league for all 31 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.