The Nashville Predators and Philadelphia Flyers were named Saturday as winners of the Dick Dillman Award, given annually to one team from both the Eastern and Western Conference judged to be tops at media relations.
The award is presented by the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) to honor the memory of the late Minnesota North Stars public relations director who was a standout in his profession for many years. His daughter, Lisa Dillman, recently chronicled the Kings' march to the NHL championship as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times.
"I had the privilege of knowing Dick," said Nashville vice president Gerry Helper in accepting the award. "He was the consummate communications professional respected by all and known for his integrity, credibility and character, who set the standard in our industry for all to follow. It is an honor for our organization, with so many terrific communications departments in the NHL, to receive this award."
The Flyers and Predators are winning the award for the first time. The Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks were the other finalists in the Western Conference, while the Carolina Hurricanes and Boston Bruins were the other Eastern finalists
Every member of the PHWA is eligible to vote on the award, and voters are asked to consider multiple factors, including fairness, cooperation, efficiency, accuracy and presentation of media notes, and willingness to help facilitate interviews.
"The Predators and Flyers both do a superior job of working with the media who are trying to tell their story," said PHWA president Kevin Allen. "It was particularly gratifying to be able to honor Gerry Helper and Philadelphia's Zack Hill who are veteran PR guys who have been helping PHWA members for many years. But this is a staff award that recognizes the efforts of everyone in their organizations."