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BILLINS NAMED GRIFFINS' 2012-13 IOA/AMERICAN SPECIALTY AHL MAN OF THE YEAR

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins are proud to announce that Chad Billins has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Grand Rapids community during the 2012-13 season.

A native of Marysville, Mich., and a product of Ferris State University, Billins took an active role in the Griffins’ community relations endeavors during his first professional season. Billins has enjoyed success on the ice, as he’s currently one point away from becoming the franchise’s all-time highest-scoring rookie defenseman, while also making time off the ice, representing the team at more evens and functions than any other Griffins player.

Billins attended every full-team charitable activity, walking dogs at the Pups and Pucks Fall Walk-a-Thon (Mackenzie’s Animal Sanctuary), serving beverages at Red, White and Brews (Easter Seals), packing lunches at Kids’ Food Basket, appearing at a local Uccello’s restaurant for the return of the popular Tip-a-Griffin fundraiser (Griffins Youth Foundation), skating with fans at the Great Skate Winterfest and participating in the Griffins versus Sled Wings sled hockey game.

The 23-year-old defenseman was also a staple in post-game events, including open skates and autograph sessions, and he was a fixture at local youth hockey practices as part of the Growing with the Griffins program. He made visits to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and spent time at other community events, including attending the Griffins Kids Club party and reading to students at a local elementary school.

In recognition of his efforts, Billins will be presented with an etched crystal trophy during an on-ice presentation prior to an upcoming Griffins home game. In addition, Billins will receive a cash prize as the winner of the Griffins’ community player of the year award, sponsored locally by Centennial Securities.

Billins is now one of 30 finalists for the AHL’s 2012-13 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 on April 18.


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