Came across this press release from the Professional Hockey Players Association (PHPA) written by Darryl Dionne. Congrats to Gary on this honor. As many have said there is nobody that works harder than Gary and he deserves all of the recognition he gets. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
The Professional Hockey Players’ Association is pleased to announce that ECHL players have voted Gary Steffes of the Allen Americans as the inaugural recipient of the 2014-15 PHPA – ECHL Heart, Hustle, and Desire Award. The PHPA-ECHL Heart, Hustle, and Desire Award is awarded to the player, considered by his peers, to be the hardest working player in the League, demonstrating heart, hustle, and desire each and every night.
Known as a team leader and solid all-around player who maintains a high level of fitness, Steffes led the ECHL in goal-scoring this season with 44 goals in 63 games. He added 29 assists and finished with a plus-minus of +32. Steffes led the ECHL with 18 powerplay goals, tied for third with 8 game winning goals, and was named to the ECHL Second All-Star Team. He helped the Americans to a first place finish in the Western Conference standings, and second overall in league standings.
“This is a tremendous honor, and I feel incredibly blessed and encouraged,” said Steffes. “Striving for excellence and holding myself to the highest standard in every shift, every game, and during practice is a big part of my game, and I am encouraged and very thankful that other players recognize that.”
“On behalf of the PHPA Membership, I offer my most sincere congratulations to Gary on this well-deserved recognition,” added PHPA Executive Director, Larry Landon. “To be recognized by your peers as the hardest working player in the league speaks volumes to his character, leadership, and passion for the sport.”
The 2014-15 season marked the first time players from the ECHL voted on a series of season ending individual awards.