The Afternoon Shift – Dec. 6

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 or 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:

AHL/opponent links:

Alumni news and notes:

Video – NHL alumni goals:


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