Springfield Thunderbirds named AHL Team of the Year

Springfield Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa [L] seen with AHL President Scott Howson
Springfield Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa [L] seen with AHL President Scott Howson(Springfield Thunderbirds)
Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 1:20 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The Springfield Thunderbirds now have another award to add to their trophy case from the 2021-2022 season.

On Friday, the team was awarded the President’s Award, which recognizes them as the AHL’s Team of the Year, during the league’s annual Board of Governor’s Meeting in Hilton Head, SC. The award is given to the team that demonstrates excellence on and off the ice.

Springfield Thunderbirds Managing Partner Paul Picknelly said in a statement:

“In a short six years, we went from the precipice of losing professional hockey in Springfield to Eastern Conference Champions and three sellout crowds in the Calder Cup Finals. None of this would have been possible without Team President Nate Costa, the entire T-Birds staff, our partners at the St. Louis Blues, and of course the best fans in all of hockey. This award belongs to all of them.”

The President’s Award comes after the franchise made their first trip to the Calder Cup Finals, which also marked the first appearance by Springfield’s AHL hockey team in the series since 1991. Throughout their playoff run, which included winning the AHL Eastern Conference Championship, they saw an average attendance of 6,134 fans for the 11 home playoff games. There were also three sell-out crowds for Game 7 of the conference finals and the two Calder Cup Finals home games.

Springfield Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa added in a statement:

“I could not be more proud of our amazing staff for their tireless efforts throughout this historic year…From day one, we all believed this organization was capable of establishing itself as one of the model franchises in the American Hockey League, and this recognition serves as the ultimate validation.”

The Thunderbirds 2022-2023 regular season will get underway on Saturday, October 15 against the Bridgeport Islanders at the MassMutual Center.