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Coyotes Announce 2011-12 Team Award Winners

Saturday, 03.31.2012 / 1:46 PM / News
Arizona Coyotes
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Saturday, March 31, 2012

GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- The Phoenix Coyotes announced today the winners of the club’s 2011-12 team awards. Coyotes' goaltender Mike Smith won the Fry’s Food Stores Team MVP Award and the Ganem Jewelers Three-Star Award, while forward Ray Whitney won the Desert Schools Leading Scorer Award. Captain Shane Doan won the Jukka Nieminen Memorial Trophy given to the player voted by the fans as the team’s hardest working player and goaltender Jason LaBarbera won the Gila River Casinos Man of the Year Award for dedication to the community.

Mike Smith
Smith is having a tremendous season, posting a record of 34-18-10 with a 2.33 goals against average (GAA) and a .926 save percentage to win the Fry’s Food Stores Team MVP Award. The Coyotes broadcast media and Arizona Republic hockey writers voted for the award. With four games remaining in the regular season, Smith has already set career highs in wins (34), shutouts (6) and save percentage (.926) and posted the second best GAA (2.33) of his career. He currently ranks tied for fourth in the NHL in wins (34), 12th in GAA, seventh in save percentage and tied for fourth in shutouts.

The 30-year-old native of Kingston, Ontario was named the NHL’s Player of the Month for February after posting a remarkable 11-0-0 record which led the League in wins. His 11-game winning streak was a franchise record and tied for the longest in the NHL this season. Smith also was tied for first in February with a .952 save percentage and ranked second with a 1.42 goals-against average. He recorded back-to-back shutouts Feb. 11 against the Chicago Blackhawks and Feb. 16 at the Los Angeles Kings and posted a career-high 171:26 shutout sequence that ended Feb. 18 against the Dallas Stars. He was also named the NHL’s Player of the Week for the period ending Feb. 12.

Entering tonight’s game versus the Anaheim Ducks, Smith has been selected as a star of the game 31 times this season and was named a star at Jobing.com Arena 18 times in 2011-12 to win the Ganem Jewelers Three Star Award.

Ray Whitney leads all Coyotes players in points with 23-50-73 after 78 games to capture the Desert Schools Leading Scorer Award. The 39-year-old native of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta also leads the Coyotes in assists (48) and ranks second in goals (23). Among all NHL players, Whitney ranks tied for 11th in points and tied for sixth in assists. He is now only one point shy of recording 1,000 points for his career.

Shane Doan received the Jukka Nieminen Memorial Trophy as the Coyotes’ hardest working player. The 35-year-old native of Halkirk, Alberta ranks third on the Coyotes in scoring with 21-26-47 after 75 games. Doan has now scored 20 or more goals in 11 of the past 12 seasons. He also collected five power play goals and five game winning goals this year. Doan was selected as the winner by the fans who voted at PhoenixCoyotes.com.

Jason LaBarbera
Jason LaBarbera earned the Gila River Casinos Man of the Year Award for his dedication, commitment and passion for bettering the lives of those in the community during his third season as a member of the Coyotes.

LaBarbera and his wife Kodette started the International Love for Lokomotiv Fund which raised money for the families who lost loved ones in the KHL Russian plane crash. In addition, LaBarbera honored Arizona hero Pat Tillman by putting a picture of him on his goalie mask and donates $420 to the Pat Tillman Foundation after each of his wins.

LaBarbera and his wife also led numerous local initiatives for organizations including Ryan House, St Joseph’s Hospital, Children First Academy, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Gabriel’s Angels and are the co-chairs of the Fight for Air Walk (April 14) which benefits the American Lung Association.
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