Syracuse, NY – The American Hockey League announced Wednesday that Andy Delmore of the Syracuse Crunch has been named the winner of the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s outstanding defenseman for the 2005-06 season, as voted by AHL players and members of the media in each of the league’s 27 cities.
Delmore leads all American Hockey League defensemen in goals (17), assists (55) and points (72) in 65 games for Syracuse this season, and is on pace to become the first defenseman in five years to crack the league’s top 20 in overall scoring. Delmore put together a 15-game scoring streak from Dec. 10 to Jan. 14, the longest by an AHL blueliner since 1994, and on Feb. 15 he became the first AHL defenseman in 15 years to score four goals in a single game.
Delmore ranks second among league defensemen with 11 power-play goals and first overall with 44 power-play assists on the year, anchoring a Crunch unit that has scored 108 times with the man advantage in 2005-06, second-most in the AHL. His play at both ends of the ice has helped Syracuse set franchise records for wins (45) and points (98) already this season.
Delmore, who has also skated in five NHL games with the Blue Jackets this year, represented the Crunch at the 2006 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic, and last week was named a First Team AHL All-Star. In 259 career AHL games, Delmore has recorded 43 goals and 120 assists for 163 points, and was a member of the Philadelphia Phantoms’ 1998 Calder Cup championship team. The 29-year-old native of LaSalle, Ont., has appeared in 281 career NHL contests with Columbus, Buffalo, Nashville and Philadelphia.
This award, which was first presented by the AHL in 1959, honors the late Eddie Shore, a Hockey Hall of Famer and American Hockey League Hall of Famer 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 winners include Steve Kraftcheck (1959), Al Arbour (1965), Noel Price (1970, ’72, ’76), Blue Jackets Television Color Analyst Brian Engblom (1977), Terry Murray (1978, ’79), Brad Shaw (1987), Dave Fenyves (1988, ’89), Eric Weinrich (1990), Darren Rumble (1997), Jamie Heward (1998), John Slaney (2001, ’02), Curtis Murphy (2003, ’04) and Niklas Kronwall (2005).
In operation since 1936, the AHL is celebrating its historic 70th anniversary this season, and continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. Over 80 percent of all NHL players today are AHL graduates, and more than 350 AHL players have been recalled to the NHL this season alone. Sixteen clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway next week.