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IceHogs' Holden Named Team's AHL Person of the Year

May 12, 2022 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Rockford IceHogs News Release

In his 13th season with the IceHogs, Head Equipment Manager Russ played an integral role with hockey operations for several seasons and has helped the team overcome the challenges that have been presented to the industry over the past two seasons, earning him the team's selection as the IOA/American Specialty AHL Person of the Year. With the constant battle with COVID-19 over the past two seasons, Holden has gone above and beyond keeping the team safe through his role with the team. Through elevated protocols established by the National Hockey League and American Hockey League, Russ has been diligent in upholding those strict guidelines and has been meticulous with the sanitization of the player's equipment and locker room areas whether the team plays at home or on the road to ensure the health and safety of the players, coaches and staff.

Russ was recognized during the team's 2021-22 award ceremony prior to their regular-season finale on Apr. 30 at BMO Harris Bank Center. Full Story


May 12, 2022



Chosen from among 31 team winners of IOA/American Specialty

AHL Person of the Year awards

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. ... The American Hockey League announced today that Iowa Wild defenseman Dakota Mermis has been selected as the winner of the Yanick Dupré Memorial Award for 2021-22.

Over his six seasons as a player in the American Hockey League, Mermis has placed an emphasis on making positive contributions to his community. In 2021-22, his first season in Des Moines, Mermis stepped into and embraced a leadership role both on and off the ice. With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic - and the birth of his first child in December - altering his approach, Mermis, along with his wife, Sarah, remained steadfast in believing in the importance of community work.

Among his many endeavors, Mermis teamed up with the Urbandale Community Action Network to provide essentials such as winter clothing and food supplies to local families in need around the holiday season. He also covered the cost for UCAN families to have special experiences at Wild games, enjoying a night out when they might normally not have the means to do so. Mermis was heavily involved in the team's Pucks 'n' Paws Day featuring a visit to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, as well as the Wild's annual Pink in the Rink game for cancer awareness.

With a positive attitude and genuine humility, Mermis has helped the entire Iowa Wild organization continue to be a pillar of the greater Des Moines community.

Mermis's selection comes from a field of 31 team winners of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Person of the Year award for their respective cities. Traditionally acknowledging a player for his outstanding contributions to his local community, this season the league expanded the Person of the Year program to allow teams to recognize individuals who played an important and perhaps unexpected role in supporting their organization and/or impacting the local community as the AHL again navigated through a season impacted by COVID-19.

This year's team winners of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Person of the Year awards are:

Abbotsford Canucks ― Noah Juulsen, Defenseman

Bakersfield Condors ― Ryan Holt, Director of Media Relations and Broadcasting

Belleville Senators ― Breanne Matthews, Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Bridgeport Islanders ― Samuel Provost, Community Engagement Manager

Charlotte Checkers ― Mary Grams, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships

Chicago Wolves ― Ivan Lodnia, Forward

Cleveland Monsters ― Ben Adams, Sr. Director of Marketing and Communications

Colorado Eagles ― Kevin McGlue, Vice President of Communications and Broadcasting

Grand Rapids Griffins ― Kyle Criscuolo, Forward

Hartford Wolf Pack ― Jared Degler, Assistant Athletic Trainer

Henderson Silver Knights ― Gabe Mirabelli, Director of Enterprise Operations

Hershey Bears ― Dan "Beaker" Stuck, Manager of Wellness and Team Affairs

Iowa Wild ― Dakota Mermis, Defenseman

Laval Rocket ― Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, Forward

Lehigh Valley Phantoms ― Trevor Herrick, Director of Sales

Manitoba Moose ― Jimmy Oligny, Defenseman

Milwaukee Admirals ― Mike Wojciechowski, Vice President of Business Development

Ontario Reign ― Cameron Gaunce, Defenseman

Providence Bruins ― Nick Neary, Video Coach

Rochester Americans ― Kent Weisbeck, Assistant Athletic Trainer

Rockford IceHogs ― Russ Holden, Equipment Manager

San Diego Gulls ― Jeff Goduti, Team Services Manager

San Jose Barracuda ― Nick Nollenberger, Media Relations and Broadcasting Manager

Springfield Thunderbirds ― Jim Syner, Boomer

Stockton Heat ― Brandon Weiss, Director, Communications

Syracuse Crunch ― Jackie Decker, Community Relations Manager

Texas Stars ― Anthony Louis, Forward

Toronto Marlies ― Rich Clune, Forward

Tucson Roadrunners ― Bokondji Imama, Forward

Utica Comets ― Damion Parmelee, Equipment Manager

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins ― Pierre-Olivier Joseph, Defenseman

Presented annually since 1998, the AHL's Yanick Dupré Memorial Award honors the late Yanick Dupré, who passed away in 1997 at the age of 24 following a 16-month battle with leukemia. A second-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in 1991, Dupré played four seasons in the AHL with the Hershey Bears and was an AHL All-Star in 1995.

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 32 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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