GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- The Phoenix Coyotes announced today the winners of the club's 2005-06 season team awards. Goaltender Curtis Joseph earned both the Ashley Furniture Team MVP Award and the Applebee's 3-Star Award. Rookie defenseman Keith Ballard won the Hardest Working Player Award and also shared the Man of the Year Award with right wing Fredrik Sjostrom.
Joseph, a 16-year NHL veteran, had an incredible year in his first season with Phoenix, leading all Coyotes netminders with a 30-21-3 record, 3.01 goals against average, .897 save percentage and two shutouts. This season, Joseph earned a few career milestones as he eclipsed the 400-win and 800-games played plateaus and passed NHL legends Grant Fuhr, Glenn Hall and Tony Esposito to move into 6th place on the NHL's all-time wins list. Joseph earned 105 "3-Star" points throughout the 2005-06 Coyotes regular season to earn the Applebee's 3-Star Award. The Ashley Furniture Team MVP Award was selected by the Coyotes traveling media (The Arizona Republic, East Valley Tribune, and the Coyotes broadcast team).
Ballard, 23, and Sjostrom, 22, both earned the Co-Man of the Year Award for showing dedication, commitment and passion to the community during the 2005-06 season. Both players were very active in the community during the season and made many appearances at local area schools, teaching the importance of teamwork and safety. Ballard and Sjostrom also worked a great deal with many of the young patients at Phoenix Children's Hospital and Banner Children's Hospital, providing them with hope and creating memorable experiences.
Ballard earned 57% of the fans' votes on PhoenixCoyotes.com to win the Hardest Working Player Award. In his first NHL season, Ballard has quickly become a fan favorite with his hard-nosed style of play, collecting 7-31-38 and 92 PIM while playing in all 79 games. He ranks among the NHL's rookie leaders in assists, points, penalty minutes, time on ice, blocked shots and hits. Ballard also leads all NHL rookie defensemen in assists.
In addition, the winner of the team's Leading Scorer trophy has yet to be determined but will be awarded at the end of the season. With three games remaining, team captain Shane Doan is currently leading the race as the team's Leading Scorer with 64 points (29 goals and 35 assists) this season. Center Mike Comrie trails Doan by only five points as he has registered 59 points (30 goals and 28 assists) this season. If Doan holds on to win, it would mark the second straight season that he has led the Coyotes in scoring. In 2003-04, he recorded 27-41-68 in 79 games to lead the team.
Coyotes defenseman Keith Ballard is named the 2005-06 Hardest Working Player
Keith Ballard & Fredrik Sjostrom share the Coyotes Man-of-the-Year award
Goaltender Curtis Joseph accepts the Ashley Furniture Team MVP award
Curtis Joseph is named the recipient of the Applebee's 3-Star award