Love Named Lake Erie's Man of the Year

The Lake Erie Monsters are proud to announce that defenseman Mitch Love has been named the team’s winner of the American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year award for his exceptional contributions to the Cleveland community during the 2007-08 season.

This season, Mitch Love has gone above and beyond the call of duty in local Cleveland communities. He first started by helping coach local squirt, peewee and mite teams on multiple occasions through Lake Erie’s “Mega Monsters” program. In each of these sessions, Mitch shared his passion of hockey with the youngsters that have the same enthusiasm for the game.

Mitch also participated in the Lake Erie Monsters holiday meal giveaway at St. Martin De Porres in Cleveland. Mitch and his teammates handed out holiday dinners to over 200 families in need. Mitch personally handed out the meals, helped the recipients with their bags, signed autographs and took the time to talk to the families and children after they received their meals.

A program that has taken flight in Cleveland, “The Monsters Respect Tour,” was quite successful this season. Mitch was a huge part of the Tour and its efforts to bring messages of respect and work-ethic to the fourth, fifth and sixth graders of Cleveland. Mitch, along with teammate J.D. Corbin, went to a local school to visit more than 100 fourth grade students. The students had time to ask Mitch and J.D. questions about their careers and Mitch and J.D. had time to explain how they respect their teammates and bodies.

Mitch’s efforts in Cleveland schools did not stop with “The Monsters Respect Tour.” Mitch and teammate Mike Vernace traveled to a local middle school within the Cleveland Municipal School District and talked to fourth graders about healthy lifestyle choices.

In recognition of his efforts this season, Love will be presented with an etched crystal trophy during an on-ice presentation prior to an upcoming Monsters home game.

Out of each AHL team’s Man of the Year, representatives from American Specialty and the AHL will choose the winner of the 2007-08 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award. The AHL’s annual Man of the Year award is named after the late Yanick Dupre, who died in 1997 at the age of 24, following a 16-month battle with leukemia. Dupre, an AHL All-Star in 1995, played four seasons with the Hershey Bears, registering 169 points in 207 AHL games. He also skated in 35 NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers.

The winner of the 2007-08 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award will be announced in the coming weeks.

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