The American Hockey League (AHL) announced today that Hartford Wolf Pack center Derek Armstrong has been named the winner of the Les Cunningham Award as the league's Most Valuable Player for the 2000-01 season.
The award is voted on by AHL players and media in each of the league's 20 member cities.
Armstrong, 27, is the all-time leading scorer in Wolf Pack history, and has had a career year in 2000-01. In 74 games with Hartford, Armstrong has recorded league-leading totals of 68 assists and 100 points, and those figures, along with his 32 goals, represent career highs. He ranks first on the club with a plus-21 rating and 34 power-play points, and he has recorded a point on 19 of the Wolf Pack's 39 game-winning goals this season. He was recently named a First Team AHL All-Star, and was selected to play in his third consecutive AHL All-Star Classic in January.
Armstrong won the Jack Butterfield Trophy as the MVP of the 2000 Calder Cup Playoffs, as he guided the Wolf Pack to Hartford's first-ever pro hockey championship. The Ottawa native has tallied 105 goals and 203 assists for 308 points in 264 regular-season games in a Wolf Pack uniform. Currently on recall to the parent New York Rangers, Armstrong has skated in two NHL games this season and 85 games in his NHL career, recording nine goals and 10 assists for the Rangers, New York Islanders, and Ottawa Senators.
Previous winners of the Les Cunningham Award include Jean-Francois Labbe (1997), Paul Gardner (1985-86), Ross Yates (1983), Pelle Lindbergh (1981), Gilles Villemure (1969-70), and Johnny Bower (1956-58).