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Nolan Baumgartner named Manitoba's IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks

The Manitoba Moose are proud to announce team captain Nolan Baumgartner has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Manitoba community during the 2010-11 season.

Baumgartner was named the captain of the Manitoba Moose at the beginning of this season for his leadership on the ice. But through his many seasons with the Moose, he has equally proven to be a leader off of it. Baumgartner is the team’s leading presence in Moose sponsored events in the community and became the franchise leader in AHL games played this season surpassing former captain Mike Keane’s benchmark of 368 games.

The Calgary, AB native played his first season with the Moose in 2002-03 and is now in his seventh season in Manitoba. Baumgartner has appeared in 59 games so far this season where he’s scored 26 points (3g & 23a) along with 36 penalty minutes. He is currently second among defencemen in scoring. In 378 career games with Manitoba, the 35-year old has 182 points (40g & 142a).

One of the community events that Baumgartner participated in this season was the launch of the team’s “Respond to Reading” program at Lord Roberts School in which Baumgartner and teammate Victor Oreskovich read to over 100 elementary students. The reading program is one that Baumgartner has taken a vested interest in. When asked about his involvement in the program, Baumgartner said, “I’m a big reader. As players we have a lot of time on the road and on the bus, so for me reading helps me keep my brain active. If I can get out there and teach kids a little about that, that’s one of my favourite things to do.”

He also attended the Rehabilitation Centre for Children in December to visit with young Manitobans who are living with disabilities, either physical or mental. Two other Moose promoted community events that Baumgartner and teammates took part in are the Outdoor Practice held at a community club with a local minor hockey team and the annual Manitoba Moose Pancake Breakfast where fans had the chance to meet players and were served breakfast by them as well.

In recognition of his efforts, Baumgartner will be presented with an etched crystal trophy during an on-ice presentation prior to an upcoming Moose game.

Baumgartner is now one of 30 finalists for the AHL’s 2010-11 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, honoring the overall American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year. The league award is named after the former Hershey Bears forward and AHL All-Star who died in 1997 following a 16-month battle with leukemia. The winner of the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award will be announced by the American Hockey League in the coming weeks. Former Moose Jimmy Roy was the winner of this award back in 2003.

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