My daughters, Riley and Tara, have been surrounded by Binghamton hockey their entire lives. They both have helped me on the ice with Chuck-a-Puck since the time they could walk.

Riley's favorite all-time favorite hockey player is Denis Hamel. If Denis made an appearance in the area, she would make it to the event and he was always great to the girls. Her favorite number is his hockey number (17) and she wore that number when she played volleyball in high school in his honor.

So I know where Riley will be on January 27. That is the day that Hamel will be inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2020. He is one of four that will be inducted but for us, he's the only one that matters.

Hamel played for the Binghamton Senators from 2003 until 2010. His best season was in 2005-06 when he had 56 goals and 35 assists. That season, he won the Willie Marshall Award for leading the league in goals scored.

In 2007, he won the Yanick Dupree Memorial Award as the AHL Man of the Year for his work in the community. He ranks 11th in AHL history with 338 goals and ended up with 651 points for his career.

Congratulations Denis (Hammer) Hamel! My daughter, Riley, will be looking for you on January 27.


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