Eddie Wittchow Named T-Birds Man of the YearMar 29, 2018
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds are proud to announce that defenseman Eddie Wittchow has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Springfield community during the 2017-18 season.
A second-year pro out of the University of Wisconsin, the 25-year-old Wittchow has been a mainstay in the Thunderbirds and Springfield area communities ever since arriving with the team midway through the 2016-17 season. Wittchow’s activities and supported causes have included visits to the Springfield Boys & Girls Club and SBGC Family Centers for after school activities, active involvement with area schools through the team’s Stick to Reading Campaign, and on-ice mentorship to youth hockey organizations. Wittchow also took his best shot in a new sport as he joined the Western Mass Knights sled hockey team for a special practice pitting the Knights against members of the Thunderbirds.
The Burnsville, Minnesota native has also tried his hand at being a celebrity chef, following in the footsteps of former teammate Mike McKenna by participating in the second annual Thunderburger competition with Plan B Burger Bar in Springfield. His passion for immersing himself in the community – for reasons ranging from charity and leisure – has been a staple of his time in pro hockey since his arrival last year.
Along these lines, Wittchow has also been a regular at a wide range of Thunderbirds’ fan-centered events, including celebrity bartending sessions at area restaurants, which served as unique chances for him to meet-and-greet with fans. In addition, Wittchow was a participant for a second straight year at Boomer’s Bootcamp, a free annual floor hockey clinic open to the public in downtown Springfield.
Wittchow joins 2016-17 Thunderbirds Man of the Year Ian McCoshen as the franchise’s winners of this distinguished honor.
Wittchow is now one of 30 finalists for the AHL’s 2017-18 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 at a later date.