SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Devils are proud to announce that Jay Leach has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Capital Region community during the 2012-13 season.
Community involvement is a high priority within the Devils organization. Each year the calendar is filled with events such as “Cash for Coats,” “Thanksgiving Food Drive,” “Teddy Bear Toss,” “Pucks and Paws Night,” and “Military Appreciation Night.” The team’s commitment to the Capital Region extends beyond the doors of the Times Union Center. The team has worked with non‐profit organizations, including the Ronald McDonald House Charities, Habitat for Humanity, the Boy and Girl Scouts of America, the Red Cross and the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.
As team captain and native of the Capital District, Leach has been at the forefront as a representative and spokesperson for the team’s community contributions.
An example of Leach’s leadership came during the early part of the season. In December, four high school students in the area were involved in a tragic car crash, leaving two dead and two critically wounded. As the Capital Region mourned, Leach and a few teammates visited Matthew Hardy – one of the survivors and an avid sports fan – in his home. Leach asked that the meeting be low key and without any media attention. For an hour and a half, the Devils players conversed on a wide array of topics. Leach was able to connect with Hardy because both are/were student‐athletes from the Albany area.
Leach is now one of 30 finalists for the AHL’s 2012-13 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 on Apr. 18.