A's Honor Former Sabre Jay McKee With New Award Name
Wednesday night the Clarence A's Board of Directors (Jordan Honsberger, Patrick Doherty, PJ Martucci, Jimmy Honsberger, Jr., and Mitchell Alexin) recognized it was time to name the team's Most Valuable Player award after a Buffalo great. After about an hour of deliberations, the group came to the conclusion that The Jay McKee Most Valuable Player Award would be the new name.
McKee, defenseman, played in the National Hockey League from 1996-2013 for the Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues, and Pittsburgh Penguins. He spent 10 seasons in the Sabres organization, often splitting time in Buffalo and Rochester with the Sabres' American Hockey League affiliate Americans for the first three seasons of his career. McKee was selected 14th overall by Buffalo (pick received from the Vancouver Canucks) in the 1995 NHL Draft, the same draft the team took goaltender Martin Biron with the 16th overall pick. From there McKee went on to have a productive tenure with the team, playing 582 games, tallying 17 goals, 81 assists, and a whopping 470 penalty minutes.
When asked why McKee was the person of choice, Honsberger simply replied "He was a monster on and off the ice. We want our MVP to exude the same energy Jay did during his time in Buffalo." The vote to change the name of the award was won by a 4-1 majority vote. The one board member that voted against the name change didn't want any other name, just instead to keep the name of the award as it was. Other names tossed around during the deliberations included Eric Boulton, Donald Audette, Rob Ray, Devante Smith-Pelly, Erik Rasmussen, and Alexi Zhitnik.
The team is unsure if any other names will be changed, but a revamping of the image of the organization isn't frowned upon by this group of board members.
Make sure to follow Jay McKee on Twitter @JayMcKee74 and the Clarence As @ClarenceAsMABL