Drew Callin Named IOA/American Specialty T-Birds Man of the Year

Apr 11, 2024

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The Springfield Thunderbirds are proud to announce that Drew Callin 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 2023-24 season.

A fixture in the community at each stop along his hockey career, Callin took his commitment even further during the 2023-24 season, his third in Springfield. At Callin's request, the T-Birds' business staff resumed their meaningful partnership with the Springfield City Library this past winter by reinstating its literacy program, Boomer's Reading Club. On five separate after-school afternoons at five different regional branches of the Library, Callin, a teammate, and Thunderbirds mascot Boomer, took time from their days to share in storytime with young readers and fans, which also included one-on-one meet-and-greet time and art and craft activities. Callin, the son of a longtime school teacher in Wisconsin, also imparted his lifelong love of reading to program visitors.

The Thunderbirds Foundation echoed its support of Callin and Boomer's Reading Club by donating school supplies and other resources to each Springfield City Library branch visited during the program.

Callin's involvement was not limited to just the library, either, as the veteran forward was also a staple at youth hockey programs throughout the region, including the Jr. Thunderbirds and Pioneer Valley Lightning. It was not uncommon to see Callin at multiple functions outside the MassMutual Center any given week. Callin was also one of a group of T-Birds players who visited the 104th Fighter Wing at Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport to show support for our area military personnel ahead of the team's annual Military Appreciation Night.

Callin is now one of 32 finalists for the AHL’s 2023-24 Yanick Dupré 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 Dupré Memorial Award will be announced by the American Hockey League later this month.

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