Jackalopes Honored at CHL Summer Meetings
(Odessa, TX) - The Central Hockey League's 2009-10 Governors' Cup Champion Odessa Jackalopes were recently honored at the CHL Summer meetings in Chandler, AZ. The Jackalopes, who completed their best regular season in franchise history with a 48-11-5 record, were also named the league's "Community Relations Franchise of the Year" for the second straight season and nominated for two other awards.
"The Community Relations award demonstrates our organization's commitment to the Permian Basin," said Jackalopes General Manager, Joe Clark, who also noted the efforts of Community Relations Director, Kyle Rodgers, and Assistant GM, Bill Levy. "We are grateful that the league recognizes the hard work of our staff."
Clark pointed out that despite the league meetings in Arizona, the Jacks still had an impact this past weekend as players Sebastien Thinel, Joel Martin and Dave Van Drunen all participated in the Children's Miracle Network telethon presented by NewsWest 9.
"It was fun to be a part of this telethon," said Martin, who was named the CHL's Most Outstanding Goaltender and All-Star Game MVP this past season. "We always take part in the (Jerry Lewis MDA) telethon, and we're glad we can help out in any way."
During the final week of May, the Jackalopes were also visible in Big Spring, TX, as representatives helped make residents aware of "School's Out Safety" at the local Sonic Drive-In restaurant.
"We take a lot of pride in getting involved in the community," added Rodgers, "We're about to start our 14th year because of the support we've received from the people of West Texas. The best way for us to say 'thank you' is to get involved with as many different events and organizations as possible outside of hockey."
Jackalopes co-owner Rick Gasser was also nominated for the CHL Leadership Award, and Clark was nominated for the Ralph Backstrom Soul of Service award at the banquet.
Other issues that were included in the league's summer meetings involved the pending joining of the International Hockey League, scheduling issues, the 2011 All-Star Game and roster regulations. The CHL is expected to release information on those topics and more as the summer continues.
The Odessa Jackalopes are the Central Hockey League affiliate for the NHL's New York Islanders and the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The team will begin its 14th season in the Permian Basin in October 2010. Season tickets, mini-plans, and single game tickets are available by calling (432) 552-PUCK or visiting jackalopes.org.
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