Portland Pirates Bobby Ryan and Brian Salcido were each selected Thursday to the PlanetUSA roster for the 2008 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Reebok to be played on Jan. 28 at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton, N.Y.Ranking among the AHL’s rookie leaders with 24 points in 25 games, Ryan was selected by fans via on-line balloting at theahl.com to start in the game. Salcido, who is among the league’s top scoring defensemen, was selected by a committee of AHL coaches as a reserve.
The PlanetUSA team comprises 24 players – 13 forwards, eight defensemen and three goaltenders – born outside of Canada
; the Canadian team was announced on Wednesday (No Pirates were selected on that team).
Among the members of the PlanetUSA team are 16 first-time AHL All-Stars and six former first-round draft picks, including standout rookies Ryan, Tuukka Rask of the Providence Bruins and Brian Lee of the host Binghamton Senators. Brett Sterling of the Chicago Wolves, the MVP of the 2007 AHL All-Star Game and the AHL’s rookie of the year in 2006-07, was voted into the PlanetUSA starting lineup for the second year in a row.
Albany River Rats forward Keith Aucoin was selected to captain the PlanetUSA team, his third consecutive and career AHL All-Star Classic appearance.
The PlanetUSA coaching staff will come from the AHL team with the best points percentage at the end of play on Sunday, January 13. The Providence Bruins (.824) currently lead the Toronto Marlies (.771) for that honor.
The 2008 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Reebok will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League competing in the 2008 CCM AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday, January 27 (7:00 ET), and the 2008 AHL All-Star Game on Monday, January 28 (7:00 ET). The event will be televised nationally in the United States
Of the 427 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, Zdeno Chara, Jonathan Cheechoo, Pavol Demitra, Rick DiPietro, Patrik Elias, Ray Emery, Jiri Hudler, Miikka Kiprusoff, Kari Lehtonen, Ryan Miller, Martin St. Louis, Jason Spezza, Eric Staal and Steve Sullivan.