The 2011 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross, which will take place at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa., will feature the league’s top young talent competing in the AHL All-Star Skills Competition (Sunday, Jan. 30) and the AHL All-Star Game (Monday, Jan. 31).
Beginning Tuesday at noon and continuing through 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 9, fans can vote for their favorite Griffins and the most deserving AHL players by visiting either theahl.com or facebook.com/theahl. The players receiving the most votes by position will earn berths in the starting lineups of the Eastern Conference and Western Conference AHL All-Star teams, while a committee of AHL coaches will select the remaining All-Stars. All 30 clubs will be represented on the final rosters.
Grand Rapids had 32 different players selected to play in an all-star game in either the AHL or IHL during its first 14 seasons, including current Griffins Joey MacDonald (2005) and Derek Meech (2007).
Using history as a guide, point total and youth are the most important factors for predicting who will earn spots in the AHL’s midseason classic. If that holds, it would seem that the Griffins’ most likely candidates are forwards Cory Emmerton, Jan Mursak and Tomas Tatar, as well as defenseman Brendan Smith.
Regardless of who gets the nod, they will join an impressive list of Griffins all-stars that includes seven current NHL players: Detroit’s Jonathan Ericsson (2008), Valtteri Filppula (2006), Jimmy Howard (2008), Jiri Hudler (2004 and 2006), Jakub Kindl (2009) and Niklas Kronwall (2004 and 2005), and the New York Rangers’ Todd White (2001 IHL).
Today’s Griffins links:
- A bitter end (Griffins)
- Rampage double-up Griffins, 6-3 (Griffins)
- Tatar continues to add up points against Admirals (Griffins)
- Griffins team up with Toys for Tots (Griffins)
- Griffins’ home woes continue in overtime loss to San Antonio Rampage (MLive)
- Van Andel Arena a drop site for Toys for Tots (MLive)
- Griffins at a loss to explain home struggles after another defeat at Van Andel Arena (MLive)
- Tomas Tatar scores twice as Griffins win on road (MLive)
- Voting for AHL’s All-Star Game opens next week (MLive)
- Rampage roll over Griffins 6-3 (Griffins Central)
- Lackluster start leads to loss for Admirals (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
- Video: Griffins vs. San Antonio – 12.5.10 (Fox 17)
- Video: Griffins v Rampage – 12 04 10 (Fox 17)
- Laakso rescues Admirals (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
- Rivermen rally but fall in overtime (Peoria Journal Star)
Alumni news and notes:
- Jimmy Howard on top of his game as Red Wings beat Ducks, 4-0 (MLive)
- Justin Abdelkader’s role expands with Red Wings (MLive)
- Jimmy Howard’s confidence is growing after shutout (Detroit News)
- Niklas Kronwall approaching his peak performance (Detroit Free Press)
- Kelly nets hat trick in Senators’ 3-1 win over NYR (USA Today)
- Rissmiller honored as week’s best (AHL)
Video – NHL alumni goals:
- OTT Chris Kelly (hat trick) – Dec. 5 at NYR
- DET Jonathan Ericsson – Dec. 4 at LA
- TB Mattias Ritola – Dec. 4 vs. COL
- DET Valtteri Filppula – Dec. 3 at ANA