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 Grand Rapids Griffins

Josiah Didier Honored as Griffins' Man of the Year

April 11, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Grand Rapids Griffins News Release

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Grand Rapids Griffins are proud to announce that Josiah Didier has been named the team's winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Grand Rapids community during the 2023-24 season. This is Didier's second nomination as a team's Man of the Year (2022-23 Providence) and he became the third Griffins captain to be honored with the award, joining Nathan Paetsch (2016-17) and Travis Richards (2003-04).

In his first season with Grand Rapids, Didier led his teammates by example off the ice. He became an integral part of the West Michigan community by leading the team in appearances, and his efforts benefited a variety of local organizations.

Didier made several visits with teammates to patients at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, including Brady Lewis, a high school hockey player for Traverse City West who sustained neck and spine injuries during a game in February before undergoing surgery and receiving treatment in Grand Rapids. Didier and his teammates then welcomed Brady to their locker room after the Griffins' March 8 game, which Brady was well enough to attend with his family.

Didier's other appearances included meeting veterans at Michigan Veteran Homes at Grand Rapids, playing with children at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids, reading to students at Brookwood Elementary during March is Reading Month, and recording a promotional video with Marco Kasper for the Grand Rapids Public Library's social media.

In addition, Didier adopted a two-child family for Christmas through Catholic Charities of West Michigan, and he was among several Griffins who supported the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan on March 21 by wearing colorful, mismatched socks ("Rock Your Socks") during the team's travel from Winnipeg to Rockford. He also participated in numerous team functions, including Tip-A-Griffin, the Great Skate Winterfest, the Griffins and Grand Rapids Sled Wings sled hockey game, and Hockey, Hops & Hope.

Didier is now one of 32 finalists for the AHL's 2023-24 Yanick Dupré Memorial Award, honoring the overall IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year. The league award is named after the former Hershey Bears forward and AHL All-Star who died in 1997 following a 16-month battle with leukemia. The winner of the Yanick Dupré Memorial Award will be announced by the AHL later this month.

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