Keane wins AHL’s Fred T. Hunt Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Mike Keane of the Manitoba Moose has been named the 2006-07 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 players and members of the media in each of the league’s 27 cities.

Keane returned to his native Winnipeg in 2006-07 for his second season with the Moose following 16 seasons in the National Hockey League, during which time he won three Stanley Cup championships with Montreal (1993), Colorado (1996) and Dallas (1999). A textbook example of someone playing for the love of the game, the 39-year-old Keane has captained Manitoba to the North Division championship while helping tutor the Vancouver Canucks’ prospects in the AHL.

Keane, who has skated in more than 1,600 regular-season and playoff games since turning pro with the AHL’s Sherbrooke Canadiens during the 1987 Calder Cup Playoffs, has recorded eight goals and 17 assists for 25 points, along with 46 penalty minutes and a plus-5 rating, for the Moose this season. He was also selected to serve as captain of the Canadian team at the 2007 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic in Toronto.

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. Previous winners of the award include Ross Yates (1983), Glenn Merkosky (1987, ’91), Bruce Boudreau (1988), Murray Eaves (’89, ’90), John Anderson (1992), Ken Gernander (1996, 2004), Randy Cunneyworth (2000), Nathan Dempsey (2002), Eric Healey (2003), Chris Ferraro (2003) and Mark Cullen (2006).

Now in its 71st season of play, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 83 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 6.3 million fans have attended AHL games across North America in each of the past five seasons.