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Kostopoulos, Fortunus to captain All-Stars

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced today that Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Tom Kostopoulos and Texas Stars defenseman Maxime Fortunus have been selected to serve as playing captains for the 2015 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino, to be held January 25-26 in Utica, N.Y. 

Captains for the American Hockey League All-Star teams are selected by the league president in recognition of their outstanding leadership and service. 

Tom Kostopoulos is in his 16th professional season and eighth as a member of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, where he holds the franchise records for goals, assists, points and games played. The 35-year-old native of Mississauga, Ont., has skated in more than 1,100 pro games, including 495 in the AHL with Wilkes-Barre and Manchester and 630 in the NHL with Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Montreal, Carolina, Calgary and New Jersey. Now in his second stint as Wilkes-Barre’s team captain (2002-04, 2013- ), Kostopoulos has totaled 152 goals and 231 assists for 383 points in the AHL and helped the Penguins reach the Calder Cup Finals in 2001 and 2004. 

Kostopoulos, who made an AHL All-Star Classic appearance in 2002 and missed the 2005 event due to injury, will captain the Eastern Conference AHL All-Stars. 

A 12th-year pro now in his sixth season with the Texas Stars and third as team captain, Maxime Fortunus has skated in 658 regular-season AHL games with Texas, Manitoba and Houston, registering 59 goals and 161 assists for 220 points. The 31-year-old native of La Prairie, Que., appeared in the Calder Cup Finals in 2009 and 2010 before captaining the Stars to the championship in 2014, and is tied for sixth all-time with 115 career AHL playoff games played. Undrafted, Fortunus signed as a free agent with Dallas in 2008 and has played nine career NHL contests with the Stars. 

Fortunus will be making his AHL All-Star Classic debut as captain of the Western Conference All-Star team. 

A very limited number of tickets remain available for the 2015 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino. They can be purchased in person at the Utica Memorial Auditorium box office (10-4 ET), by phone at 800-693-8000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets for the two-day event are priced as low as $69 and include admission to both the All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 25 and the All-Star Game on Jan. 26. 

The 2015 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League: Of the 644 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since 1995, more than 94 percent have competed in the National Hockey League, including Patrice Bergeron, Daniel Briere, Ryan Callahan, Zdeno Chara, Jimmy Howard, Niklas Kronwall, Chris Kunitz, Ryan Miller, Zach Parise, Tuukka Rask, Pekka Rinne, Bobby Ryan, Martin St. Louis, Cory Schneider, Patrick Sharp, Jason Spezza and Eric Staal.