Forward Michael Davies has been named the Chicago Wolves' Dan Snyder Man of the Year in recognition of his unwavering commitment to Chicago-area charities and the community during the 2012-13 season.
The award is earned by one Wolves player each season in memory of Snyder, who passed away on Oct. 5, 2003, after suffering head injuries in a car accident. Snyder spent the 2001-02 and 2002-03 season with the Wolves and helped the team capture the 2002 Calder Cup championship.
Wolves forward Brett Sterling also has been named the team's winner of the AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Chicago community during the 2012-13 season.
Wolves chairman of the board Don Levin, general manager Wendell Young, and senior advisor/director of hockey operations Gene Ubriaco will present the 26-year-old Davies with the award Saturday at Allstate Arena shortly before the team's 7 p.m. contest against Charlotte.
"I was shocked at first when I heard I was getting this award," said Davies, who's wrapping up his third season with the Wolves. "I know how much this means to the organization and there are so many other guys who do great community service. It's a really big honor."
Since joining the Wolves in 2010, Davies has devoted his community time to efforts that benefit Chicago-area youth. He has played a primary role in the Read to Succeed program that works with multiple libraries and thousands of children each year. He also has been the first to volunteer to
visit children's hospitals.
"Mike has this zest for life," said Courtney Mahoney, the Wolves senior vice president of operations. "It's so reminiscent of Dan Snyder and that's why he's perfect to receive this honor. It's more than just the community involvement. I can call Mike for anything and he'll do it and he's amazing. He's a happy guy and he has such a love of the game that makes him a fantastic ambassador for our team."
Sterling, who ranks second on the Wolves all-time goals list with 166 goals in just 296 games, has made an impact away from the through his many community appearances and fan-oriented events, The 28-year-old Los Angeles native took the proactive approach this season and created the "Team Up With 29" program. Working with a different charity each month, Sterling volunteered to donate $29 for each point he scored this season while encouraging Wolves fans via the team's website to join him as his teammates. Fans set their own donation level for each point and, even though Sterling missed 23 consecutive games at midseason due to an injury that also kept him out of his fourth AHL All-Star Game, "Team Up With 29" has raised more than $4,000 for local charities to date.
"Brett's just a tremendous individual," said Mahoney. "When he came back to the Wolves this season, one of our first conversations was about what more he could do for the community. Creating this "Team Up for 29" program was something he had in his head. I think it embodies what kind of guy he is."
Sterling also makes regular visits to Children's Memorial Hospital to play bingo with the patients. He helps to host the games and hand out prizes to winners. He's also a magnetic presence at the team's public events.
"The biggest thing my parents instilled in me is treating others the way you want to be treated, and that's how I live my life," Sterling said. "Live to be a good person, especially to those around you and the ones you love most."
Sterling is now one of 30 finalists for the AHL's 2012-13 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, which honors 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.