Utica, N.Y. - The Utica Comets announced that defenseman Jaime Sifers has been named the team's IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year for the 2018-19 season, Wednesday.
The award honors a player for their outstanding contributions to the community. This is Sifers' second time winning the award in as many seasons for the Comets, becoming the first player in franchise history to win it twice.
Overall, this is the third time Sifers has been named his team's Man of the Year in his career, winning once as a member of the Cleveland Monsters.
The 36-year-old Stratford, Connecticut native is the son of a United States Marine. As such, he has dedicated much of his time to honoring the military and its veterans. He has become an ambassador for the Comets organization with many military programs in the area.
According to the team, he attended weekly office meetings with area Purple Heart recipients during the summer, and also had a vital role in helping the team become the first every hockey team to be designated as a Purple Heart organization.
He was also instrumental in establishing the Hometown Heroes program, where the team honors a local veteran at each home game. Sifers makes it a point to meet with the honoree after each game.
"When you're around Jaime, you're exposed to moments that are truly profound," said Comets broadcaster Joe Roberts. "Often times they are simple gestures that create special moments and lifetime memories for others."
Sifers, in his second year with the Comets, is now one of 31 finalists for the AHL's Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, which is given to the league-wide Man of the Year. It is named after a former Hershey Bears forward and AHL all-star, who died in 1997 after a battle with Leukemia.
The winner of the Dupre Award will be announced by the league at a later date.