newjerseydevils.com – The Devils have named their award winners for the 2006-07 season, the team announced today.
Goaltender Martin Brodeur was named Most Valuable Devil, as voted by the players, and accepted the award from goaltending coach Jacques Caron.
For the second consecutive year, forward Jay Pandolfo was named the winner of both the Hugh Delano Unsung Hero and the Devils Players’ Player. Pandolfo accepted his award from assistant coach John MacLean.
Debbie and Jeff Vanderbeek were named the recipients of this year’s Dr. John J. McMullen Service to New Jersey Hockey Award. The award is named for the late Dr. John J. McMullen, who brought professional hockey to the Garden State in 1982. It has been presented annually since 1984 by the Devils to an individual or individuals who have supported amateur hockey throughout the state.
Brodeur has won a league-leading 41 games this season, and ranks second in both goals-against average (2.14) and save percentage (.924). He has recorded a career-best 12 shutouts this season, three shy of the modern-day record held by Tony Esposito.
The two-time Vezina Award winner extended his own record with a sixth 40-win season by defeating Pittsburgh, 4-3, in a shootout on Thursday. No other netminder in history has won 40 games more than three times in his career.
This marks the eighth time that Brodeur has earned the Most Valuable Devil honor. Brian Gionta, who scored a franchise-record 48 goals in 2005-06, was last year’s winner.
Pandolfo, meanwhile, becomes just the third player in team history to win the Unsung Hero award in consecutive seasons. Denis Pederson (’96-’97, ’97-98) and Sergei Brylin (’00-’01, ’01-’02) are the only others to have accomplished that feat. Pandolfo was previously named the Unsung Hero in 1998-99 and 2002-03 before winning his third last season.
The Winchester, Mass.-native joins Rich Preston, Scott Stevens and Randy McKay as the other Devils to have earned the Players’ Player award in back-to-back years.
Debbie Vanderbeek is co-owner and treasurer of the New Jersey Rockets youth hockey team. She has been involved for more than a decade with the Rockets organization, which is among the most successful hockey organizations in the Metropolitan New Jersey/New York area. A 1981 graduate of Boston College, she now resides in Warren, New Jersey, with her husband Jeff, son, Rem, and daughters McKenna and Rhiannon.
Jeff Vanderbeek is in his third season as chairman/managing partner of the New Jersey Devils. As president/chairman of Devils Arena Entertainment, LLC, he is the driving force behind the construction of the team’s new home, Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Vanderbeek had served as a member of the Devils’ ownership group since the summer of 2000, and has been a season ticket holder for nearly 17 seasons.