SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Mike Zigomanis of the Toronto Marlies has been selected as the winner of the Yanick Dupré Memorial Award as the 2012-13 IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year.
The award is presented annually to an AHL player for his outstanding contributions to his local community and charitable organizations. The Yanick Dupré Memorial Award winner is selected by the AHL and representatives from IOA and American Specialty from among 30 individual team Man of the Year honorees.
In his fourth season as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, Zigomanis has consistently led by example, taking the time during every community event to interact with fans around the rink, hospital or school. His commitment to making a difference sets a tremendous example and his efforts have made a significant positive impact on the way the Marlies brand is portrayed around Toronto.
Generously donating both his time and his money to various charities in the Toronto area, Zigomanis purchased a suite at Ricoh Coliseum for the entire 2012-13 season to provide underprivileged youths with the opportunity to enjoy a Marlies home game as his personal guests. Zigomanis also ensured that each member of the group had a chance to spend time with him after the game.
A former minor hockey player himself growing up in the Greater Toronto Area, Zigomanis has also taken the time to participate in various minor hockey practices, both on his own and as part of the Marlies Community Practices program, in which the club runs a full practice and takes youth players through drills and relays.
Zigomanis has also been deeply involved in the Marlies’ participation in community initiatives with local children’s hospitals. Zigomanis led the team’s visit to the Hospital for Sick Children this season, ensuring a fun-filled day of games, prizes and special visits with patients and their families.
The AHL’s annual Man of the Year award is named after the late Yanick Dupré, who passed away in 1997 at the age of 24 following a 16-month battle with leukemia. A second-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in 1991, Dupré played four seasons in the AHL with the Hershey Bears, and participated in the 1995 AHL All-Star Game.
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 2012-13 regular season ends on Sunday, and then 16 clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway next week.