Today in the "A": AHL Grads Take NHL honors

The NHL Awards show took place last night in Las Vegas.

Is it just me, or is the banter even more forced than it is on "real" awards shows?

Several award winners have "AHL" on their resumes:

Corey Perry (Hart Trophy): Cincinnati Mighty Ducks (2004) and Portland Pirates (2005-2006)

Tim Thomas (Vezina): Hamilton Bulldogs (1998-99) and Providence Bruins (2002-2004, 2005-2006)

Martin St. Louis (Lady Byng): Saint John Flames (1998-1999)

Ryan Kesler (Selke): Manitoba Moose (2003-2005)

Dan Bylsma (Jack Adams): An interesting footnote on the former bench boss of the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins. He is the 11th of the last 13 Jack Adams Award winners to have graduated to the NHL from the AHL.

Other mid-week items from the AHL:

The AHL Marketing Meetings are underway in Springfield. Over 160 representatives from around the league are in town for the gathering. Among Tuesday's topics were groups focusing on ticket sales, corporate sales and digital media groups. The league, doing a great job on fostering creativity gave out several awards for creative ways to get fans in the buildings.

Wednesday commenced with a presentation from Neulion regarding the AHL Live service. Although AHL Live in seasons past garners my "Better than Nothing" award, they still have a long way to go.

Signings:
Two former Blue Jackets were able to sign contract extensions with their new clubs this week. Chad Kolarik re-signed with the New York Rangers. Kolarik, despite missing 26 games for Connecticut due to injury, still finished second on the Whale in goals and fifth in points.

Elsewhere, Nate Guenin signed a two year extension with Anaheim. After being traded, Nate finished out the season as a member of the former Jackets farm club, the Syracuse Crunch.

Around the Twitterverse:

Scott Howson: "Full day today. Meeting with scouts to go over list for draft. Lots of lively debate. Interviewing 5 players tonight. Lots of phone calls."

Bruce Landon: "good conversation with CBJ on free agent needs for Springfield."

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