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July 7, 2010

AHL Admirals Tenth Anniversary Team - Left Wings

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.

To vote, please visit and vote on the poll at the bottom-right corner of the home page. You may only vote once.

Below are left wing candidates for the AHL Admirals Tenth Anniversary Team.

Matt Ellison:
Matt Ellison/Photo by Yvonne PaxsonAmong players who have appeared in at least 80 games in their AHL Admirals career, no left wing has averaged more points-per-game than Matt Ellison. With 86 points (28 goals and 58 assists) in 142 games, Ellison averaged 0.61 points per game during his Admirals career. Ellison ranks 15th in points, tied for 24th in goals and tied for 14th in power play goals (11) in AHL Admirals history. He ranked second in scoring while leading the Admirals in assists in 2004-05, posting 14 goals and 37 assists for 51 points in 71 games. The next season, he was traded to Philadelphia where he played two seasons. After a one-year stint in the Nashville Predators organization, Ellison has played the last two seasons in Russia.

Matt Henderson:
Matt Henderson/Photo by Yvonne PaxsonMatt Henderson was a picture of consistency for the Admirals in the organization’s first three AHL seasons. Only Casey Hankinson recorded more points than Henderson from 2000-01 to 2002-03. He ranked in the top five of scoring each season and was a plus player each season. In 229 games with the Admirals, Henderson recorded 53 goals and 134 points. He ranks sixth in games played, sixth in goals, sixth in assists, sixth in points and tied for seventh in power play goals (19) in AHL Admirals history. A solid two-way player, Henderson’s +22 rating ranks third all-time in AHL Admirals history. After playing his last game with Norfolk, Henderson played one season in Germany and retired following the 2003-04 season.

Justin Keller:
Justin Keller/Photo by John WrightNo player has scored more goals with the Admirals over the past three seasons than Justin Keller. In 196 games, he has recorded 50 goals and 98 points. He is tenth in games played, tied for seventh in goals, tied for 11th in points and tied for 14th in power play goals (11) in AHL Admirals history. Keller is one of only eight players to have at least 50 goals in his AHL Admirals career and joins Matt Henderson as the only left wing in that group. He is the only player that has ranked in the top five of goal scoring each of the past three seasons with the Admirals.

Quintin Laing:
Quintin Laing/Photo by Allison VeinoteQuintin Laing’s numbers show him as one of the top players in AHL Admirals history – but his intangibles cement his place in the annals of Admirals history. In 357 games, Laing scored 47 goals and 82 assists for 129 points. Laing ranks second in games played, ninth in goals, fifth in assists, eighth in points and sixth in plus/minus (+19) in AHL Admirals history. He is one of only four players that ranks in the top ten of goals, assists, points and plus/minus. But Laing’s team-first play endeared him to Norfolk fans. He perennially won the Admirals Booster Club’s award as the player with the most heart. Although they have not been recorded officially, it is doubtful that anyone has blocked more shots in AHL Admirals history than Laing.

Igor Radulov:
Igor Radulov/Photo by Yvonne PaxsonWith one of the best all time shooting percentages (14.3%) in AHL Admirals history, one has to wonder what might have been with Igor Radulov. When he turned pro with the Admirals in 2002-03, Radulov was one of the top rookie goal scorers in the AHL as he scored 18 goals and 27 points in 62 games. Radulov split the following season between the Admirals and NHL, putting up 23 points in just 38 games with Norfolk. However, after putting up 50 points (27 goals and 23 assists) in his first 100 career Norfolk games, Radulov did not have a point through 16 games of the 2004-05 lockout season and opted to return to Russia. He has not returned to North America since.

Juraj Simek:
Juraj Simek/Photo by John WrightJuraj Simek used a career year last season to rise up the AHL Admirals scoring charts. With 21 goals and 36 points in 75 games in 2009-10, Simek more than doubled his prior career high in goals and upped his best point total by 14 points. He tied for second on the team in goals, was fifth in points and was tied for the team lead with seven power play goals. Over the last two seasons, Simek has played 138 games with Norfolk, scoring 30 goals and 58 points. He is one of only 22 players with 30 or more goals in his AHL Admirals career. His five career shootout goals are tied for second in AHL Admirals history.

Radek Smolenak:
Radek Smolenak/Photo by John WrightRadek Smolenak was one of the top point producers for the Admirals over the past three seasons. In 166 games since the 2007-08 season, Smolenak netted 46 goals and 96 points. He ranks 14th in points, tenth in goals and 18th in assists in AHL Admirals history. Smolenak was also known for packing a punch, as he racked up 322 penalty minutes in his Admirals career – good for ninth all-time. His rare combination of scoring and agitation makes him one of only three players in the 40 goal/300 penalty minute club in AHL Admirals history, joining Ajay Baines (68 G/456 PIM) and Shawn Thornton (40 G/1198 PIM). Smolenak finished the 2009-10 season with the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat.

Mike Souza:
Mike Souza/Photo by Yvonne PaxsonMike Souza made his professional debut with the Admirals in 2000-01 straight out of the University of New Hampshire. Souza put up 31 points in each of his two full seasons with Norfolk. In 146 games as an Admiral, Souza scored 36 goals and 66 points. He ranks 16th in goals and tied for 25th in points in AHL Admirals history. Eight of his 36 goals as an Admiral were game-winners – tied for the sixth-most game-winning goals in AHL Admirals history. Souza began the 2002-03 season with the Admirals before being loaned to Bridgeport. Since then, he has played primarily in Europe – including the last four years with Cortina SG in Italy.

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 votes for candidates not listed on the poll may do so by emailing 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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