Wonderful news out of Chocolatetown today: The Patriot News‘ Tim Leone, Hershey Bears beat reporter, is the 2011 recipient of the James H. Ellery Award for outstanding contributions to the American Hockey League in the newspaper category. There can be no more deserving winner when it comes to chronicling the AHL than Leone. The Bears today issued a press release to acknowledge Leone’s honor:
“Leone wrote nearly 190 stories for publication during the 2010-11 season, including long-form enterprise stories about every six weeks on topics such as offseason training, retired Bears who have settled in the Hershey area, and Patrick McNeill’s recovery from shoulder surgery. In addition to these stories in print, Leone also posted over 100 additional separate blog entries on pennlive.com such as breaking news and practice updates.
“At the beginning of the season, Tim was the sole author of a 16-page season preview special section. Through his online work with Pennlive.com, he hosted a weekly Bears Talk video, and was a regular first intermission guest on the Bears Radio network.
“In a year that saw the successful return of the AHL All-Star Classic to central Pennsylvania, Leone provided in-depth coverage for the event. He also now has more than 1,400 followers on Twitter, among the most followed AHL journalists. He has also authored two books in past seasons with strong AHL themes, “The Hershey Bears: Sweet Seasons” (2003) and “Gabby: Confessions of a Hockey Lifer” (2009).
“Leone becomes the first Patriot-News sportswriter to be honored with the Ellery since Steve Summers and Bruce Whitman were both honored by the AHL after the 1976-77 season. Other Hershey winners of the Ellery Award include Gregg Mace (Television, 2006), John Walton (Radio, 2004), Dave Sottile (2000, Newspaper), Dan Sernoffsky (1994, Newspaper), Russ Small (Radio, 1981) and Tim Melton (Television, 1978).
For its part, the AHL today said of Leone, “On the AHL beat in Hershey since 1995, Tim Leone continues to provide outstanding coverage for the Bears and the American Hockey League in the Harrisburg Patriot-News print edition while expanding his reach to on-line media. Leone wrote more than 180 stories for publication during the 2010-11 season, posted an additional 100-plus entries to his blog at PennLive.com, and provided his more than 1,500 Twitter followers with frequent breaking-news updates.”
And if the excellence of Leone’s work weren’t enough, he has also been uniquely accessible to, and supportive of, new media efforts to chronicle hockey in both Hershey and Washington. You don’t have to search long or hard to see his contributions across a wide range of Capitals’ and Bears’ digital content. This blog especially has benefited from Leone’s support.
Congratulations to one of hockey’s most dedicated and talented scribes.