(Boise, ID) ? The ECHL announced Tuesday that Idaho Steelheads head coach Derek Laxdal is the recipient of the 2010 John Brophy Award as the league?s Coach of the Year. It?s the first ECHL Coach of the Year award for Laxdal and the Idaho Steelheads organization. ?Thrilled,? Laxdal said when asked about the award. ?But it?s a reflection of the work put in by the guys in the locker room. If they didn?t buy in and work their tails off, we aren?t in a position for individual awards.? Along with Laxdal?s honor, those individual awards include first-team All-ECHL (Mark Derlago), second-team All-ECHL (Tyler Spurgeon and Richard Bachman), All-Rookie (Bachman and Evan Barlow), and Plus-Performer of the Year (Derlago). Laxdal?s Steelheads were an ECHL-best 48-17-7 this season, setting new team records for wins and points (103) in the ECHL era. The team also captured it?s first-ever Brabham Cup as the ECHL regular-season champion. The 44-year-old Laxdal is in his fifth season as head coach in Idaho. Along the way, he has compiled an overall regular-season record of 217-108-35 and led the team to the 2007 ECHL Kelly Cup championship. Prior to coaching in Idaho, Laxdal coached in the Central Hockey League after a long professional playing career, including time with the NHL?s Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders. South Carolina?s Cail MacLean finished second in a vote of league coaches. The trophy is named for John Brophy, who coached a record three ECHL title teams (1991, 1992, and 1998) and was inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2009. The Steelheads open up the ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs on April 16 and 17 at Qwest Arena. Catch playoff fever with a group night with the Steelheads ? a great way to get family, friends, or colleagues together for a discounted price. Each ticket comes with a soda, hot dog, and bag of chips. Contact the Steelheads front office at 208.383.0080 for more information.
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