P.K. O'Handley named USHL General Manager of the year. - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

P.K. O'Handley named USHL General Manager of the year.

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Posting a record of 16-8-2 from the United States Hockey League trade deadline to the end of the regular season, then following up with a run to the Clark Cup Championship series, Waterloo Black Hawks head coach and general manager P.K. O'Handley was named the league's General Manager of the Year Friday by a vote of his peers.

 
"Our players performed the way we knew they could, and it was a great ride," said O'Handley.  "Shane Fukushima and our scouts did a tremendous job of finding the right kids.  The process to build the 2011-2012 Black Hawks started long before last summer with their efforts in previous Futures Drafts, Entry Drafts and watching games all over the country."
 
O'Handley and Fukushima, the club's associate head coach, pieced together much of the team through the USHL's two annual drafts.  Seven former futures picks and nine others acquired through an entry draft were on the roster at the end of the regular season.  That includes first round futures picks Taylor Cammarata (2011), Vince Hinostroza (2010), and A.J. Michaelson (2010), as well as 2011 first round Entry Draft pick Eddie Wittchow.  Four other players selected in one of the 2011 drafts made appearances last season off the Hawks' affiliate list.  Perhaps even more satisfying for the Hawks coaches are the performances of "diamonds in the rough" like James Hansen and Ryan Papa, regulars in the Waterloo lineup after being chosen in the 19th and 21st rounds of the 2010 Entry Draft respectively.
 
Several trades brought missing pieces to Waterloo during the year.  Coming out of the preseason USHL Fall Classic, the Hawks acquired Mitch Witek from the Green Bay Gamblers.  The veteran led Hawks defenseman in regular season scoring and was fifth overall among all league players with 14 postseason points.  Goalie Stephon Williams and defenseman Alex Barron were each added just prior to the February cutoff for trades.  Williams won ten of 19 regular season appearances as a Hawk, then ten more playoff contests.  Barron contributed ten points in 23 regular season games, followed by six more over 15 postseason matchups.
 
O'Handley is being recognized as G.M. of the Year for the second time since joining the Black Hawks franchise.  He was also awarded the honor during his first season, 2002-2003.  The longest-serving head coach in team history, O'Handley picked up his 300th Black Hawks regular season victory in December.  In addition to recognition as a general manager, O'Handley has been named Coach of the Year twice (2002-2003 and 2006-2007).
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