SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Chris Wideman of the Binghamton Senators has been voted the winner of the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s outstanding defenseman for the 2014-15 season. The award is voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities.
Wideman has recorded 17 goals and 37 assists for 54 points with a plus-5 rating in 70 games for Binghamton this season, leading all AHL defensemen in assists, points and shots on goal (213). He is an anchor for the league’s second-ranked power play, contributing seven goals and 12 assists with the man advantage, and all three of his game-winning goals this season have been scored in overtime. Wideman began his breakout campaign with a nine-game scoring streak early in the year – still tied for the longest by an AHL defenseman this season – and earned CCM/AHL Player of the Month honors for October. He scored seven goals in his first 10 games and had already established a new career high with his 10th goal of the season on Nov. 22. Wideman, who represented Binghamton at the AHL All-Star Classic in January, was named a First Team AHL All-Star on Thursday.
A native of St. Louis, Mo., Wideman, 25, was selected by the Ottawa Senators in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He played four seasons at Miami University (2008-12) before turning pro, and currently has 28 goals and 95 assists for 123 points in 203 AHL games, all with Binghamton.
This award, which was first presented by the AHL in 1958-59, honors the late Eddie Shore, a member of both the Hockey Hall of Fame and the American Hockey League Hall of Fame who is widely regarded as one of hockey’s greatest defensemen. Shore won a total of five Calder Cups in his career, including two as the general manager of the Buffalo Bisons and three as the longtime owner of the Springfield Indians. Previous recipients of the Eddie Shore Award include Steve Kraftcheck (1959), Al Arbour (1965), Jim Morrison (1966), Noel Price (1970, ’72, ’76), Brian Engblom (1977), Terry Murray (1978, ’79), Dave Farrish (1982), Brad Shaw (1987), Dave Fenyves (1988, ’89), Eric Weinrich (1990), Darren Rumble (1997), John Slaney (2001, ’02), Niklas Kronwall (2005), Johnny Boychuk (2009), Mark Barberio (2012), Justin Schultz (2013) and T.J. Brennan (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 on Apr. 19, and then 16 clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway.
The winner of the 2014-15 Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award (sportsmanship, determination, dedication to hockey) will be announced Monday.