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AHL celebrates past, present during All-Star Classic

Saturday, 01.29.2011 / 8:48 PM / AHL Update

NHL.com

The American Hockey League is celebrating its 75th season, and this weekend the league will honor its past and its current crop of stars during the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic weekend in Hershey, Pa.

The 2011 Reese's AHL All-Star Skills Competition is set for Sunday at 3 p.m. Both the skills competition and the 2011 AHL All-Star Game (Monday at 7 p.m.) at Hershey's Giant Center will be broadcast live on TSN (the game will also be live on NHL Center Ice).

Mitch Lamoureux's No. 16 hangs from the rafters at Giant Center, so it is fitting that his induction into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame as part of the four-man Class of 2011 will happen in Hershey. Lamoureux had 364 goals and 816 points in 14 seasons in the AHL, including parts of seven with the Bears. He had 57 goals for Baltimore in 1982-83, which at the time set an AHL record.

The other three members of the Class of 2011 are Harry Pidhirny, Larry Wilson and Maurice Podoloff, who was the league's first elected president from 1938-52. The induction ceremony is set for Monday at 11 a.m. at the Hershey Theatre.

There have been 528 AHL all-stars since 1995, and 94 percent of them have gone on to play in the NHL. Several of the players at the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover were also AHL all-stars, including Martin St. Louis, Zdeno Chara, Dustin Byfuglien, Danny Briere, Dan Boyle and one of the NHL's two captains, Eric Staal.

Quote of the Day

What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

— Florida Panthers director of player development Brian Skrudland on defenseman Aaron Ekblad's performance at development camp