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From one captain to another

January 14, 2010
Photo: Manitoba Moose

by Kalen Qually || AHL On The Beat Archive 

Mike Keane’s motto as captain of the Manitoba Moose is “Anything to win.”

But Keane offers the opposite as advice to teammate Nolan Baumgartner, who will serve as captain of the Canadian AHL All-Star team at next week’s 2010 Time Warner Cable AHL All-Star Classic.

“Just have fun with it,” offered Keane, himself being a former captain of the All-Star Classic.

So much for anything to win. Even though nothing would say “lead by example” like laying a big hit on one of the AHL’s best.

“You don’t do it,” Keane said. “That would be a bad decision.”

Baumgartner is proud to be following in Keane’s footsteps by wearing the “C” at the All-Star Game. After all, it was in Baumgartner’s last appearance at the 2007 event in Toronto that the two players first played together. How’s that for a “Did ya know?”

“It’s an honor just to go there, but even more so to be a captain,” said Baumgartner who is making his third career AHL All-Star Game appearance. “It’s going to be great to see guys I’ve played with in the league, too.”

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There’ll be no shortage of familiar faces for captain Baumgartner. Two former Moose players he’ll be reuniting with are Jason Jaffray (Abbotsford Heat) and Danny Groulx (Worcester Sharks).

He’ll also be facing his current teammate Sergei Shirokov, who at 23 years old is making his first appearance in the AHL All-Star Game. He’s been named to the PlanetUSA team alongside former Moose forward Mark Cullen (Rockford IceHogs).

And even though Baumgartner won’t be sticking out as the game’s leading shot blocker, there is always one way to lead by example at an all-star game: with skills. Something the captain is confident, or at least pretty sure, he still has.

“I wouldn’t fare well in the hardest shot or fastest skater events. I bet I’d do well in accuracy.”

The 2010 Time Warner Cable AHL All-Star Classic will take place Monday and Tuesday in Portland, Maine. Click here for TV broadcast information for the event.