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MacLean named AHL MVP

by Staff Writer / Detroit Red Wings
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The American Hockey League on Friday named Grand Rapids Griffins left wing Donald MacLean the winner of the Les Cunningham Award as the league's most valuable player for the 2005-06 regular season.

The 29-year-old MacLean is the first player in Griffins history to earn MVP honors. The First Team AHL All-Star leads the league with a team-record 56 goals, tying for the eighth-highest total in the league's 70 seasons. He also ranks among the league's leaders - and has set franchise records - with 21 power play goals (2nd), five hat tricks (1st), an eight-game goal streak (2nd; Feb. 25-March 14), a 19-game point streak (1st; Jan. 6-Feb. 18) and 271 shots (6th).

His 88 points (4th) - fourth all time on the club - plus-18 rating (T16th), nine game-winning goals (T1st) and two overtime goals (T1st) also place among the AHL's best, while his averages of 0.74 goals per game this season and 0.60 goals per game for his Griffins career are the highest in the franchise's 10 seasons of play.

After becoming the first AHL player in five seasons to hit the 50-goal plateau, the Sydney, Nova Scotia, native set a Grand Rapids pro hockey record by scoring his 53rd goal on March 23 at Cleveland. His 56 goals are the most by an AHL player in 10 years, putting him in position to become the first Griffin to ever lead his league.

Plaudits for MacLean began to accumulate during the AHL All-Star Classic in Winnipeg, when he won the Hardest Shot competition with a 98 mph blast and scored two goals in Canada's 9-4 rout of PlanetUSA. His final regular season honor could come on Sunday, when the winner of the AHL's Willie Marshall Award (top goal scorer) will be determined.

MacLean's season-long excellence was rewarded on Tuesday when he was recalled by the Detroit Red Wings. He made his Motown debut that night in a 2-0 win over Edmonton, scoring the game-winning and Presidents' Trophy-clinching goal during a power play midway through the first period.

After garnering an assist in the Red Wings' 7-3 win at Chicago last night, MacLean has totaled 11 points (7-4-11) in 31 NHL games with Los Angeles, Toronto, Columbus and Detroit during his nine-year career. He was the Kings' second choice (33rd overall) in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft.
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