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Rico Fata Added to AHL All-Star Roster

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers


SPRINGFIELD, MA -- The American Hockey League today announced that Hartford Wolf Pack right wing Rico Fata, Cincinnati Mighty Ducks goaltender Ilja Bryzgalov and Quebec Citadelles center Craig Darby have been added to the team rosters for the 2002 Assante & Baker Hughes AHL All-Star Classic at Mile One Stadium in St. John’s, Nfld.

Fata will replace injured Cleveland forward Jonathan Cheechoo on the Canadian AHL All-Star team, while Bryzgalov and Darby will replace injured Grand Rapids teammates Martin Prusek and Petr Schastlivy on the PlanetUSA team. Fata joins Wolf Pack defenseman Mike Mottau as the only Hartford players in the game.

Fata, 21, will be making his second AHL All-Star Game appearance. The sixth overall pick in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft had a goal and an assist and was named the Canadian Player of the Game at the 2000 event in Rochester. Fata has recorded 18 goals and 21 assists for 39 points in 32 games for Hartford this year, along with a plus/minus rating of plus-15. He has also skated in six NHL games with the New York Rangers. A native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Fata won a Calder Cup championship with Saint John last spring.

Of the 232 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since 1995, nearly 92% have competed in the NHL, including Brian Boucher, Valeri Bure, Anson Carter, Pavol Demitra, Mike Dunham, Patrik Elias, Miikka Kiprusoff, Martin Lapointe, John Madden, and Steve Sullivan. Coaches who have worked behind the bench at an AHL All-Star Classic include Bill Barber, Bob Hartley, Peter Laviolette, Greg Gilbert and Robbie Ftorek.

The 2002 Assante & Baker Hughes AHL All-Star Classic gets underway on Wednesday, February 13, with the AHL Skills Competition at 7:00 PM ET. The All-Star Game follows at 7:00 PM ET on Thursday, February 14. The AHL All-Star Game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 in the United States and on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada.
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