The Mirabito Outdoor Classic, the American Hockey League’s first outdoor game, will be the first contest on the NHL Network’s AHL schedule. The Syracuse Crunch (Columbus) will host the Binghamton Senators (Ottawa) in high-definition television on Feb. 20 at 1 p.m. ET at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse.
Other NHL Network broadcasts will give fans a chance to see two clubs who are playing in their inaugural AHL seasons -- the Abbotsford Heat (Calgary) and Texas Stars (Dallas). NHL Network will be on hand on March 21, when Abbotsford plays at the Toronto Marlies (Toronto) and on March 28, when the Chicago Wolves (Atlanta) play host to Texas. The Lake Erie Monsters (Colorado) will play twice on the NHL Network -- at home against the Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit) on Feb. 27 and then at Chicago on March 7. The Griffins also take on their North Division rivals, the Rochester Americans (Florida), in an afternoon match on March 14.
In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 NHL Clubs. This season, 85 percent of all NHL players are AHL graduates -- including Boston Bruins teammates Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara, winners of the 2008-09 Vezina and Norris Trophies, respectively, and Marc-Andre Fleury from the 2009 Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
Through the years, the American Hockey League has been the proving ground for some of the greatest players in the game’s history. There are 135 AHL alumni set to play in the 2010 Winter Olympics Games in Vancouver this month, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame -- including players, coaches, executives and officials -- have been affiliated with the AHL during their careers.
AHL on NHL Network Broadcast Schedule
|Saturday, Feb. 20||Binghamton||Syracuse||1:00 ET (at New York State Fairgrounds)|
|Saturday, Feb. 27||Grand Rapids||Lake Erie||7:00 ET|
|Sunday, Mar. 7||Lake Erie||Chicago||4:00 ET|
|Sunday, Mar. 14||Grand Rapids||Rochester||3:00 ET|
|Sunday, Mar. 21||Abbotsford||Toronto||1:00 ET (US only)|
|Sunday, Mar. 28||Texas||Chicago||4:00 ET|