Hunter Named Man of the Year

The Lake Erie Monsters are proud to announce that center Eric Hunter has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Cleveland community during the 2011-12 season. In his first full season with the Monsters organization, Hunter has been quick to volunteer for various events, doing everything from school visits to teaching inner-city kids how to skate.

Hunter was heavily involved in the Monsters Respect Tour (presented by Ohio Lottery), which involves members of the front office, along with the team mascot, in-arena host and players, visiting local elementary schools to spread the value of respect. The Monsters do several of these visits throughout the season, and Hunter participated in more of them than any other Monsters player this year.

He was also part of the Monsters contingent that took part in a heated battle of “noodle hockey” against a tough team of senior citizens at a local assisted living facility.

Another event that the Monsters take pride in, and that Hunter volunteered for, is the “Take the Ice” initiative, where the team partners with Charter One Bank to bring in selected kids from inner-city programs to The Q for an afternoon of Hockey 101 and skating.

He also participated in all of the all-team events the Monsters held throughout the season, such as meet-the-team and holiday parties with season ticket holders, public practices at local community rinks with autograph sessions after, and more.  

Hunter is now one of 30 finalists for the AHL’s 2011-12 Yanick Dupre 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 Dupre Memorial Award will be announced by the American Hockey League in the coming weeks.