AHL ANNOUNCES NEW CLASS OF INDUCTEES INTO AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE HALL OF FAME
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. The American Hockey League today announced the four people selected for induction into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame as the Class of 2022. Honored by the AHL Hall of Fame Selection Committee as the 17th group of enshrinees are Keith Aucoin, Nolan Baumgartner, Dave Creighton and Bill Torrey. “For more than eight decades, the American Hockey League has been built on principles of excellence both on and off the ice,” said Scott Howson, AHL President and Chief Executive Officer. “Each of these four distinguished individuals exemplified those principles at the highest levels throughout their careers, and the AHL Board of Governors unanimously endorses the Selection Committee’s recommendation for their induction into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame as the Class of 2022.” In addition to the Class of 2022, this season’s induction ceremony will include long-time AHL President and CEO David Andrews, who was previously selected as the lone member of the Class of 2021. The ceremony will take place as part of the festivities at the 2022 AHL All-Star Classic, hosted by the Laval Rocket. The American Hockey League Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony is scheduled for February 7. Formed in 2006 to recognize, honor and celebrate individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions in the American Hockey League, the AHL Hall of Fame is housed online at www.AHLHallofFame.com and is accessible to fans worldwide as part of the AHL Internet Network.
In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League serves as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, executives, broadcasters and staff of all 31 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of NHL players each year are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.
One of the most decorated players ever to skate in the American Hockey League, Keith Aucoin was undrafted out of NCAA Division III Norwich University in Vermont, and broke into the AHL with his hometown Lowell Lock Monsters in 2001-02. He went on to record 857 points in 769 games over parts of 13 AHL seasons with Lowell, the Providence Bruins, Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, Albany River Rats, Hershey Bears, Toronto Marlies and Chicago Wolves, retiring as the seventh-leading scorer in league history. Aucoin won the Calder Cup with Hershey in 2009 and 2010 and was the AHL’s MVP and scoring champion for the 2009-10 season after tallying 106 points in 70 games. He played in a record-tying six AHL All-Star Classics, and was voted a First Team (2009, 2010, 2012) and Second Team (2006, 2007, 2011) AHL All-Star three times each.
Nolan Baumgartner spent the majority of his 16-year professional playing career in the AHL, appearing in 878 games and notching 83 goals and 307 assists for 390 points with the Portland Pirates, Norfolk Admirals, Manitoba Moose, Philadelphia Phantoms, Iowa Stars and Chicago Wolves. A standout two-way defenseman and well-respected leader, Baumgartner appeared in three AHL All-Star Classics and was selected an All-Star playing captain at the 2010 event. Baumgartner also accrued 29 points in 86 postseason games, which included an appearance in the Calder Cup Finals with Manitoba in 2009. The Calgary native, a first-round draft pick by Washington in 1994, served as an assistant coach for Vancouver’s AHL affiliates in Chicago and Utica for five seasons before being promoted to the Canucks in 2017.
A prolific American Hockey League scorer during the 1950’s and 1960’s, Dave Creighton played 21
professional seasons between 1948 and 1969, becoming one of only four players in hockey history to skate in at least 600 games in both the American Hockey League and the National Hockey League. The native of Port Arthur, Ont., is tied for 25th all-time in AHL scoring with 692 points (258 goals, 434 assists) in 800 contests over parts of 14 seasons with the Hershey Bears, Rochester Americans, Buffalo Bisons, Baltimore Clippers and Providence Reds. Creighton also served four seasons as head coach of the Reds — including three as player/coach — and won the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s most valuable player in 1967-68. He passed away in 2017 at the age of 87.
Hockey Hall of Famer Bill Torrey began his front-office hockey career as the publicity director for the American Hockey League’s Pittsburgh Hornets in 1961. He remained active with the AHL throughout his illustrious career as an NHL executive, which included four straight Stanley Cup championships as general manager of the New York Islanders and 25 years of service with the Florida Panthers. A trusted advisor and mentor, Torrey served on the Executive Committee of the AHL Board of Governors for two decades, and was a member of the AHL Hall of Fame selection committee from its inception in 2006. Torrey passed away in 2018 at the age of 83.