Slaney Wins Second Straight Eddie Shore Award as AHL's Best Defenseman
Thursday, April 4, 2002
By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent
John Slaney added to his 2001-02 accolades collection today when he was named the winner of the Eddie Shore Award as the American Hockey League's outstanding defenseman. This is the second consecutive year that Slaney has received the award, which is voted on by players and members of the media in each of the league's 27 cities.
Slaney, who also picked up AHL First-Team All-Star honors for the second straight season last week, currently leads the Phantoms in points (59), assists (39), game-winning goals (6) and plus-minus (+13) despite missing 15 games due to a broken foot. At the time of his injury, he was tops among AHL defensemen in points, goals and assists, and Philadelphia proceeded to go 3-10-1-1 without him.
"John could be an MVP candidate," commented Phantoms head coach John Stevens. "He was the clear-cut favorite for this award. He plays in every situation for us, and our special teams picked up when he came back last week."
An 11-year-pro, Slaney played in his third straight AHL All-Star Game and served as the Canadian Team captain on Feb. 14 when the event was held in his hometown of St. John's, Newfoundland. Last season, he entered All-Star Weekend leading the league in scoring while serving as team captain for the host Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Slaney was then acquired by the Flyers organization the day before the All-Star Classic (for Kevin Stevens) and proceeded to collect a goal and two assists to earn game MVP honors.
Slaney, 30, joins Dave Fenyves (1988-89) and Terry Murray (1978-79) as the only back-to-back Eddie Shore Award winners. Bob McCord also won twice in 1961 and 1967, while Noel Price captured it on three occasions (1970, 1972, 1976). Slaney is the third player to win as a Phantom, joining Darren Rumble (1997) and Jamie Heward (1998).
"When you play with the players that the Phantoms have, it makes the job a lot easier," said Slaney. "This is a team award, not an individual one. It's exciting to win back-to-back, but I just wish my dad was here to see it again. I would like to dedicate this award to my father."
The award, which was first presented in 1959, honors the late Eddie Shore, a Hockey Hall of Famer widely regarded as one of hockey's greatest defensemen. Shore, a four-time winner of the Hart Trophy as the NHL's MVP, purchased the AHL's Springfield Indians in 1939 and managed the club until his retirement in 1967.
Previous winners of the Eddie Shore Award include Steve Kraftcheck (1959), Al Arbour (1965), Marshall Johnston (1971), Brian Engblom (1977), Brad Shaw (1987), Eric Weinrich (1990), Norm Maciver (1991), Bobby Dollas (1993) and current Phantoms defenseman Brad Tiley (2000).
Slaney was originally drafted in the first round (ninth overall) of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals. He has over 260 games of NHL experience with the Capitals, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes, Nashville Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Phantoms wrap up the regular season with games this weekend on Friday at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Saturday at home against Norfolk and Sunday at Hershey. Saturday's contest will be Fan Appreciation Night, as dozens of prizes will be given away, including the Phantoms' jerseys that night through the Shirts Off Our Backs promotion. Friday and Sunday's games will be televised live on CN8, the Comcast Network.
Tickets to all Phantoms home games are $12, $16 and $17 for adults, and $8 for all children 14 and under, and are available now at the First Union Center box office and all Ticketmaster locations throughout the Delaware Valley. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling (215) 336-2000 or (856) 338-9000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Contact the Phantoms office at 215-465-4522 for information on group discounts, birthday packages and the Family Four Pack.
Comcast-Spectacor (www.comcast-spectacor.com) is the Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment firm which owns the Philadelphia Flyers, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Philadelphia Phantoms, Flyers Skate Zone, Comcast SportsNet, and the Bowie Baysox, the Delmarva Shorebirds and Frederick Keys Baseball Teams, all affiliates of the Baltimore Orioles. Comcast-Spectacor is also the principal owner of Global-Spectrum, which manages public assembly facilities and events worldwide.