PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL in association with The Hockey Company on Thursday announced that Jeff Attard of the Las Vegas Wranglers has been selected as the 2004-05 CCM ECHL Man of the Year. The CCM ECHL Man of the Year is presented to an ECHL player for his outstanding community service as well as sportsmanship both on and off the ice.
Attard finished ahead of Chris Minard of Alaska and Cam Brown of Gwinnett in the online voting that saw more than 1,000 entries submitted. Pensacola owner Tim Kerr received several votes for the Ice Pilots commitment to the community in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan.
CCM will donate a set of helmets, gloves and apparel to the Las Vegas Outlaws Youth Hockey Program, which was chosen by Attard, who works with several youth hockey programs in Las Vegas while also giving free skating lessons to five-to-seven year olds. The Hockey Company is the exclusive supplier of hockey sticks, helmets, visors, gloves, pants and protective equipment for all 28 teams in the ECHL as well as an official supplier of authentic and replica jerseys. The Hockey Company also has the exclusive rights to supply ECHL on-ice officials with jerseys, visors, helmets, and pants.
“We are thrilled to present the inaugural CCM Man of the Year Award to Jeff Attard,” said Len Rhodes, Vice President of Product Creation and Global Marketing for The Hockey Company. “Jeff truly embodies the value of our brand, which emphasizes hard work, authenticity and dedication to the sport and to the community.”
“It’s a big honor for me to receive this award. I never expected to receive it and I am so pleased that the fans recognized my hard work in the community here in Las Vegas,” said Attard. “I’ve met a lot of great people here and my two years with the Wranglers have been great. I look forward to continuing spending more time with the great people here in my community.”
“Jeff has been a great ambassador for hockey during his two years in Las Vegas,” said Wranglers general manager and head coach Glen Gulutzan. “He’s a great guy who does a lot of great things in our community. It looks good on our organization and it also looks good for Jeff Attard.”
“Not only are we proud of Jeff for how he wears the Wranglers jersey, but we’re proud of the Wranglers fans who participated in nominating Jeff for this award,” said Las Vegas vice president Billy Johnson. “These are shining examples of how an extraordinary individual like Jeff can make a contribution to enhance the community he represents and how a community can embrace players like Jeff. It truly is illustrative of what professional hockey can mean to any city or town.”
A regular participant in the team’s community programs, the 27-year-old Attard also schedules his own monthly appearances at local schools, including the Nevada Partnership Program and Nevada Reading Week as well as the After Schools All-Star Program. He has worked with the Boys and Girls Club and the Boys Night Out program as well as visiting various children’s hospitals. He met and signed autographs for cancer patients as part of a Candlelighters event and in May Attard will run five kilometers in the “Race for the Cure” to raise money and increase awareness of breast cancer.
On the ice, Attard is the Las Vegas career leader with 31 goals and 133 games while his 85 career points rank second. He scored his first career hat trick at Bakersfield on January 1 and he has 42 points (15g-27a) in 66 games. He needs one goal to tie his career high for goals, one assist to tie his career high for assists and two points to tie his career best for points. In the Wranglers first season in 2003-04, Attard had 44 points (16g-28a) in 70 regular season games and two assists in five Kelly Cup Playoff games. Prior to joining the Wranglers, Attard played two seasons with Long Beach in the now-defunct West Coast Hockey League, scoring 58 points (19g-39a) in 101 regular season games.