TORONTO/SPRINGFIELD, Mass. . The American Hockey League today announced the Canadian and PlanetUSA AHL All-Star team rosters for the 2007 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic, to be played later this month at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto.
The Canadian team comprises players born in Canada, while the PlanetUSA team is made of players born outside of Canada. AHL fans determined the starting lineups via on-line balloting at theahl.com, while a committee of AHL coaches selected the remainder of the rosters.
Andy Bathgate, Hockey Hall of Fame AHL All-Star Classic Honoree, and Steve Thomas, AHL All-Star Classic honorary captain, were on hand for the announcement at the Air Canada Centre this morning. They were joined by AHL President and CEO David Andrews, former AHL All-Stars Peter Laviolette and Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes and Kyle Wellwood of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and current Leafs and former Marlies head coach Paul Maurice.
Thirty-four of the 48 selections are heading to their first AHL All-Star Classic, including team captains Mike Keane of the Manitoba Moose (Canada) and Kip Miller of the Grand Rapids Griffins (PlanetUSA), and standout rookies including Brett Sterling of the Chicago Wolves, Ryan Callahan of the Hartford Wolf Pack, Dustin Boyd of the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights, Drew Stafford of the Rochester Americans, Matt Lashoff of the Providence Bruins and Marek Schwarz of the Peoria Rivermen.
The head coach of the Canadian All-Star team will be Bruce Boudreau, by virtue of his leading the Hershey Bears to the 2006 Calder Cup championship. Boudreau, a Toronto native and former AHL MVP who also played for the junior Marlies and the NHL Maple Leafs, will be making his second appearance behind an AHL All-Star bench. The head coach of the PlanetUSA team will come from the AHL club with the best points percentage after play on Jan. 14.
The 2007 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic will take place at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, home of the AHL’s Marlies. The event features the 2007 CCM AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday, January 28 (7:00 ET) and the 2007 AHL All-Star Game on Monday, January 29 (7:00 ET), and will be televised live on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada and on a network of regional broadcast partners in the United States.
Of the 394 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since 1995, more than 93 percent have competed in the National Hockey League, including Patrice Bergeron, Brad Boyes, Daniel Briere, Jonathan Cheechoo, Pavol Demitra, Rick DiPietro, Patrik Elias, Ray Emery, Miikka Kiprusoff, Kari Lehtonen, Ryan Miller, Dwayne Roloson, Marc Savard, Martin St. Louis, Jason Spezza, Eric Staal, Steve Sullivan and Kyle Wellwood.
Should Lashoff play (he is currently on the Boston Bruins roster) he will suit up for PlanetUSA alongside Massachusetts native, and former Harvard University Crmison, Noah Welch.