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NHL launches 7th Man

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs

NEW YORK (Jan. 14, 2004) -- In celebration of its fans' dedication, passion and loyalty, the National Hockey League and its 30 member clubs announced the start of the second annual NHL "7th Man Award" that will honor its fan of the year.

The grand-prize winner of the "7th Man Award" will receive a trip to New York to become "Commissioner for a Day" and will participate in a ceremonial opening face-off at a Stanley Cup Final game.

The search for the fan of the year begins today and runs through March 1.

Fans in the United States and Canada can enter by logging on to or team websites and submitting an essay of up to 250 words describing their qualifications as the 7th Man of their favorite team. The fan whose essay best exemplifies dedication, passion and loyalty to the NHL and to his or her favorite team will be named the respective club's local winner.

Each local winner receives an authentic team jersey plus a game-day experience that includes a visit to the morning skate, photograph/autograph opportunities, a tour of the locker room and recognition during an on-ice ceremony at the game itself.

The 7th Man will be chosen from among the 30 local winners by an expert panel that includes NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman; actress/entertainer Whoopi Goldberg; ABC and CBC hockey analyst John Davidson; TSN hockey analyst Pierre McGuire; actor/comedian/hockey enthusiast Denis Leary; and last year's winner, Roger Farina, a New York Islanders fan and U.S. Army helicopter pilot who was given leave while serving in Iraq to accept the inaugural honor.

Entrants will be judged on the following criteria:

1. How the nominee best exemplifies the attributes of an NHL fan through his or her dedication, passion and loyalty to the NHL and their favorite team.

2. The extent to which the nominee incorporates "fandom" into their everyday life and that of their family and friends.

3. The extent of the nominee's use of his or her favorite team's colors and logo.

The League also will search for its most dedicated young fan through the newly-introduced NHL "7th Kid Award." The grand-prize winner will receive a VIP trip to the NHL Awards Show in Toronto. That contest begins on March 2, with more details to be announced in the coming weeks.


  • $100 dollar Keg Gift Certificate for lunch
  • One signed Gary Roberts Jersey
  • Dinner for two in the Air Canada Club (non-alcoholic beverage)
  • Meet and greet with Joe Bowen pre-game
  • Two Red tickets for the March 20th game vs. Colorado
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