Kronwall wins Eddie Shore Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Niklas Kronwall of the Grand Rapids Griffins has been named the winner of the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s outstanding defenseman for the 2004-05 season, as voted by AHL players and members of the media in each of the league’s 28 cities.

Kronwall has recorded 12 goals and 38 assists for 50 points in 73 games for the Griffins this season, making him Grand Rapids’ leading scorer and tying him for second among AHL defensemen. A first-round choice (29th overall) of the Detroit Red Wings in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Kronwall made his North American debut in 2003-04, splitting the season between Grand Rapids and Detroit before suffering a season-ending leg injury on Jan. 22. Kronwall was voted a starter for the PlanetUSA team at the 2005 Dodge AHL All-Star Classic, and last week was named to the AHL’s First All-Star Team.

This award, which was first presented by the AHL in 1959, honors the late Eddie Shore, a Hockey Hall of Famer widely regarded as one of hockey’s greatest defensemen. Shore, a four-time winner of the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player, won a total of five Calder Cups, including two as the general manager of the Buffalo Bisons and three as the longtime owner of the Springfield Indians.

A native of Stockholm, Sweden, Kronwall is the first European-born player to capture the Eddie Shore Award. Previous winners include Steve Kraftcheck (1959), Al Arbour (1965), Noel Price (1970, ’72, ’76), Marshall Johnston (1971), Terry Murray (1978, ’79), Brad Shaw (1987), Dave Fenyves (1988, ’89), Eric Weinrich (1990), Greg Hawgood (1992), Darren Rumble (1997), Brad Tiley (2000), John Slaney (2001, ’02) and Curtis Murphy (2003, ’04).

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. This season, more than 6.3 million fans have attended AHL games to date, and 16 clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2005 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway next week.

Eddie Shore Award
2004-05Niklas Kronwall, Grand Rapids
2003-04Curtis Murphy, Milwaukee
2002-03Curtis Murphy, Houston
2001-02John Slaney, Philadelphia
2000-01John Slaney, WBS/Philadelphia
1999-2000Brad Tiley, Springfield
1998-99Ken Sutton, Albany
1997-98Jamie Heward, Philadelphia
1996-97Darren Rumble, Philadelphia
1995-96Barry Richter, Binghamton
1994-95Jeff Serowik, Providence
1993-94Chris Snell, St. John’s
1992-93Bobby Dollas, Adirondack
1991-92Greg Hawgood, Cape Breton
1990-91Norm Maciver, Cape Breton
1989-90Eric Weinrich, Utica
1988-89Dave Fenyves, Hershey
1987-88Dave Fenyves, Hershey
1986-87Brad Shaw, Binghamton
1985-86Jim Wiemer, New Haven
1984-85Richie Dunn, Binghamton
1983-84Garry Lariviere, St. Catharines
1982-83Greg Tebbutt, Baltimore
1981-82Dave Farrish, New Brunswick
1980-81Craig Levie, Nova Scotia
1979-80Rick Vasko, Adirondack
1978-79Terry Murray, Maine
1977-78Terry Murray, Maine
1976-77Brian Engblom, Nova Scotia
1975-76Noel Price, Nova Scotia
1974-75Joe Zanussi, Providence
1973-74Gordie Smith, Springfield
1972-73Ray McKay, Cincinnati
1971-72Noel Price, Springfield/Nova Scotia
1970-71Marshall Johnston, Cleveland
1969-70Noel Price, Springfield
1968-69Bob Blackburn, Buffalo
1967-68Bill Needham, Cleveland
1966-67Bob McCord, Pittsburgh
1965-66Jim Morrison, Quebec
1964-65Al Arbour, Rochester
1963-64Ted Harris, Cleveland
1962-63Marc Reaume, Hershey
1961-62Kent Douglas, Springfield
1960-61Bob McCord, Springfield
1959-60Larry Hillman, Providence
1958-59Steve Kraftcheck, Rochester