Griffins’ Hoggan honored with Fred T. Hunt Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Jeff Hoggan of the Grand Rapids Griffins has been named the 2014-15 winner of the Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award as the AHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.

The award is voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities.

The senior member of the Grand Rapids roster and in his third season as team captain, Hoggan has not missed a game in 2014-15, skating in all 73 contests to date while contributing 14 goals, 15 assists and a plus-22 rating. The 37-year-old native of Hope, B.C., is renowned for his work ethic, competitiveness and preparation, as well as for the culture he has helped to develop and the leadership he has provided in the Griffins’ locker room, mentoring more than a dozen players who have since graduated to the Detroit Red Wings.

In his 13th professional season despite being undrafted out of the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Hoggan has skated in 620 American Hockey League games with Grand Rapids, San Antonio, Providence, Worcester and Houston, and 107 more in the National Hockey League with St. Louis, Boston and Phoenix. A two-time Calder Cup champion, Hoggan has reached double digits in goals in eight of his nine full AHL seasons while surpassing 60 minutes in penalties just twice.

This award, which was first presented by the AHL in 1978, honors the late Fred T. Hunt, a long-time contributor to the league who won three Calder Cup championships as a player and three more as a general manager during a career spent primarily with the AHL’s Buffalo Bisons and the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. Previous winners of the Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award include Ross Yates (1983), Glenn Merkosky (1987, ’91), Bruce Boudreau (1988), Murray Eaves (’89, ’90), John Anderson (1992), Tim Tookey (1993), Ken Gernander (1996, 2004), Randy Cunneyworth (2000), Mike Keane (2007), Ajay Baines (2009), Bryan Helmer (2011), Chris Minard (2012), Brandon Davidson (2013) and Jake Dowell (2014).

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 2014-15 regular season ends Sunday, and then 16 clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway next week.

The winner of the 2014-15 Dudley “Red” Garrett Memorial Award (outstanding rookie) will be announced Tuesday.