New York, N.Y. - One of the most difficult tasks in sports is performing outside of the friendly confines of a home arena in front of the visiting team's fans. With that in mind, the National Hockey League and its corporate partner Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., today announced the introduction of a new promotional award for the 2003-04 season - the NHL/Sheraton Road Performer Award - that will honor NHL players who accumulate the most road points. Additionally, Starwood, and particularly its Sheraton Hotels & Resorts brand, will support League jewel events such as NHL All-Star Weekend, NHL All-Star FANtasy and the NHL Entry Draft.
The player with the most road points at the end of each month will be recognized as the NHL/Sheraton Road Performer monthly winner. At season's end, the player who accrues the most road points during the regular season will win year-end honors as the Sheraton/NHL Road Performer of the Year. For that honor, he will receive a spectacular Sheraton Sweet Sleeper BedSM. Sheraton also will donate one million Starpoints ™ to the charity of the player's choice. These Starpoints are part of Starwood's award winning hotel loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest™, and can be used for travel expenses including hotel stays, airline tickets and more.
Last season, forward Alex Kovalev ranked eighth in the NHL and led all Rangers players with 40 points (19 goals, 21 assists) in 42 road contests.
"Through this new promotional award, our partner Sheraton has come up with a unique and creative way to bring attention to the challenge of maintaining peak performance on the road," said Andrew Judelson, NHL group vice president, corporate marketing.
"Sheraton is excited to kick-off this new partnership, and the NHL season, with this award," said Norman MacLeod, executive vice president for Sheraton. "The NHL/Sheraton Road Performer Award not only recognizes players' top performance on the road, but also underlines Sheraton's commitment to the community. We are proud that this award will help a charity organization help realize their goal."