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June 22, 2010

AHL Admirals Tenth Anniversary Team - Centers


The Admirals have now completed ten seasons in the American Hockey League. This summer, you will help to determine who deserves to be named to the AHL Admirals Tenth Anniversary Teams.

Every week from now to the end of July, you will have the opportunity to vote on the best players by position in AHL Admirals history. Results will not be revealed until all voting is complete. For more details on how candidates are selected, how you can submit a write-in vote, and more, please see the end of this page.

Below are center candidates for the AHL Admirals Tenth Anniversary Team. To vote, please visit norfolkadmirals.com and vote on the poll at the bottom-right corner of the home page. You may only vote once.

Ajay Baines:
Ajay Baines/Photo by Yvonne PaxsonAjay Baines is the AHL Admirals’ all-time leader in games played (409) and points (175). He also ranks third in goals (68) and assists (107) while ranking second in penalty minutes (456). Baines is best known for being the longest-serving captain in AHL Admirals history, as he wore the ‘C’ from October 18, 2002 until February 15, 2006. A solid two-way forward, Baines was a vital cog in an Admirals penalty kill that ranked in the top ten of the American Hockey League in four of six seasons that he played. Baines also led the Admirals in goals and points during the 2003-04 season. Off the ice, Baines was a two-time winner of the Admirals’ American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year Award (2000-01 and 2004-05) and was especially involved in promoting literacy and working with diabetics in Hampton Roads. Baines, who won the 2007 Calder Cup with the Hamilton Bulldogs, retired following the conclusion of the 2008-09 season.

Colin Fraser:
Colin Fraser/Photo by Allison VeinoteColin Fraser made his professional debut with the Admirals at the end of the 2004-05 season. In the ensuing two seasons, he appeared in 145 games with Norfolk, posting 24 goals and 37 assists for 61 points. His 323 penalty minutes rank eighth on the all-time AHL Admirals list. Fraser is one of only five players in AHL Admirals history to have at least 50 career points and 300 career penalty minutes. The scrappy center has gone on to play in over 150 career NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks and won the 2010 Stanley Cup.

Blair Jones:
Blair Jones/Photo by John WrightNo player has appeared in more games or put more shots on net with the Admirals over the last five years than Blair Jones. Jones ranks in the top ten of games played (8th), points (9th) and assists (4th) in AHL Admirals history. In 218 games with Norfolk, Jones has amassed 43 goals and 83 assists for 126 points. Known for a blistering slap shot, Jones has fired 613 shots on goal in his time with the Admirals – the fifth-most shots in AHL Admirals history. It was this blistering slap shot that won him the Reebok Hardest Shot Competition at the Ducks Unlimited AHL All-Star Skills Competition in January 2010 with a 100.7-mph shot. Jones also owns the second-longest consecutive games played streak in AHL Admirals history, as he played in 154 consecutive Admirals games from December 2008 to December 2010.

Brett McLean:
Brett McLean/Photo by Yvonne PaxsonBrett McLean’s time in Norfolk was relatively brief, but it was effective. Among players who have appeared in 80 or more games in the Admirals careers, only Brandon Bochenski, Martin St. Pierre and Paul Szczechura have registered more points-per-game than McLean’s 0.83. In just 81 games with the Admirals, McLean posted 26 goals and 41 assists for 67 points. He led the Admirals with 61 points during the 2002-03 season – a standard that stood as the best single-season mark in AHL Admirals history until Martin St. Pierre topped it in 2005-06. Since leaving Norfolk, McLean has appeared in nearly 400 NHL games between Chicago, Colorado and Florida.

Jason Morgan:
Jason Morgan/Photo by Yvonne PaxsonJason Morgan ranks 18th in AHL Admirals all-time scoring with 82 points on 23 goals and 59 assists in 141 games. His 59 assists rank tenth in AHL Admirals history. Morgan brought eight years of professional experience with him to the Admirals when the Chicago Blackhawks acquired him from the Calgary Flames in February 2004. He split time as Norfolk captain during the 2005-06 season. It was in 2005-06 that Morgan had one of his best seasons, posting 39 points and a +9 rating before a broken shoulder ended his Admirals career on March 19. He has since gone on to play in Houston, Minnesota, Hershey, Springfield and in Europe.

Martin St. Pierre:
Martin St. Pierre/Photo by Allison VeinoteMartin St. Pierre averaged 1.21 points per game during his time with the Admirals. The playmaking center put up 50 goals, 122 assists and 172 points in 142 regular season games with the Admirals. He ranks third in points, second in assists and tied for seventh in goals in AHL Admirals history. He also established AHL Admirals single-season records with 72 assists and 99 points during the 2006-07 season. St. Pierre is the only player to ever lead the AHL Admirals in scoring in multiple seasons (2005-06, 2006-07). He was a vital cog in one of the most explosive lines in AHL Admirals history as he lined up between Troy Brouwer and Brandon Bochenski during the first half of the 2006-07 season. He is part of a group of only three AHL Admirals to have appeared in multiple AHL All-Star Games (2006, 2007) and is the only Admiral to ever be a First Team AHL All-Star (2006-07). He was a member of the 2005-06 AHL All-Rookie Team. Since he last played for the Admirals, St. Pierre has played for the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators, and the AHL's Rockford IceHogs, Providence Bruins and Binghamton Senators.

Paul Szczechura:
Paul Szczechura/Photo by John WrightCenter Paul Szczechura has been one of the most consistent Admirals over the past three years. Acquired by the Admirals from the Iowa Stars in January 2008, Szczechura was on an AHL contract for the 2007-08 season and had just five points in 29 games with the Stars. He blossomed with the Admirals, finishing with 26 points in 24 games with Norfolk and earning his first career NHL contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Over the past two seasons, Szczechura has appeared in 83 games with Tampa Bay and 68 games with Norfolk. He ranks fourth in all-time scoring by a center in AHL Admirals history with 84 points on 35 goals and 49 assists in 92 games. A solid two-way player, Szczechura’s Admirals career plus/minus rating of +20 ranks tied for fourth in AHL Admirals history.

Mikhail Yakubov:
Mikhail Yakubov/Photo by Yvonne PaxsonA former top-ten draft pick, Mikhail Yakubov spent parts of four seasons with the Admirals from 2002-03 to 2005-06. He ranks in the top 25 of games played (12th), goals (T-24th), assists (T-23rd) and points (20th) in AHL Admirals history. In 180 career games with Norfolk, Yakubov posted 28 goals and 41 assists for 69 points. He was drafted in the first round (10th overall) by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. Yakubov has spent the past four seasons playing in Russia.


The candidates for each position of the AHL Admirals Tenth Anniversary Team were chosen based on (1) having played at least 80 regular season games with the AHL Admirals and (2) being the top eight point scorers in their position. They are then presented in alphabetical order. Fans wishing to submit write-in votes may do so by emailing keith@norfolkadmirals.com with the subject line "AHL Admirals Tenth Anniversary Team" and the name and position of their write in candidate in the body. You may only submit one write-in candidate per position.

The player with the most votes in each position will be named an AHL Admirals Tenth Anniversary First All-Star. The player with the second-most votes in his position will be named an AHL Admirals Tenth Anniversary Second All-Star. The only exception will be on defense, where the top two vote-getters will be named to the first team and the next two will be named to the second team.

Results will be announced on Wednesday, July 28.





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