The American Hockey League announced today the Canadian AHL All-Star team roster for the 2005 Dodge AHL All-Star Classic, to be played next month at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H.
The team comprises players born in Canada. AHL fans determined the starting lineup via on-line balloting at theahl.com, while a committee of AHL coaches selected the remainder of the roster.
Among the members of the Canadian team are eight former first-round draft picks: Binghamton’s Jason Spezza (2nd overall in 2001), Lowell’s Eric Staal (2nd in 2003), San Antonio’s Jay Bouwmeester (3rd in 2002), Cincinnati’s Joffrey Lupul (7th in 2002), Manitoba’s Nolan Baumgartner (10th in 1994), Milwaukee’s Dan Hamhuis (12th in 2001), Portland’s Steve Eminger (12th in 2002) and Lowell’s Chuck Kobasew (14th in 2001).
Other notable names on the Canadian roster include 2005 World Junior Championships MVP Patrice Bergeron (Providence), reigning AHL MVP Jason LaBarbera (Hartford) and 2004 Stanley Cup champion Eric Perrin (Hershey).
Milwaukee Admirals defenseman Brad Tiley was selected to captain the Canadian team, his third career AHL All-Star Classic appearance. And because he led Milwaukee to the Calder Cup championship in 2004, Claude Noel will serve as the head coach for the Canadian AHL All-Star team.
The PlanetUSA AHL All-Star team roster will be announced on Thursday.
Of the 328 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since 1995, more than 92 percent have competed in the NHL, including Daniel Briere, Andrew Brunette, Anson Carter, Pavol Demitra, Rick DiPietro, J.P. Dumont, Patrik Elias, Manny Legace, John Madden, Ladislav Nagy, Vaclav Prospal, Martin St. Louis, Marc Savard, Steve Sullivan and Tomas Vokoun.
The 2005 Dodge AHL All-Star Classic will take place at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H., home of the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs. The event gets underway on Sunday, February 13, with the 2005 AHL All-Star Skills Competition at 7:00 p.m. (ET). The annual All-Star Game follows at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on Monday, February 14, and will be televised live nationally on ESPN2 in the United States and on Rogers Sportnet in Canada.
2005 CANADIAN AHL ALL-STAR TEAM
Patrice Bergeron, Providence
x-Mike Cammalleri, Manchester
Simon Gamache, Milwaukee
Jason King, Manitoba
Chuck Kobasew, Lowell
Tom Kostopoulos, Manchester (inj.)
Yanick Lehoux, Manchester (inj.)
Joffrey Lupul, Cincinnati
x-Michel Ouellet, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Eric Perrin, Hershey
Patrick Sharp, Philadelphia
Jason Spezza, Binghamton
Eric Staal, Lowell
Kyle Wellwood, St. John’s
Nolan Baumgartner, Manitoba
Jay Bouwmeester, San Antonio
Steve Eminger, Portland
Dan Hamhuis, Milwaukee
x-Lawrence Nycholat, Hartford
Travis Roche, Chicago
Brad Tiley, Milwaukee (“C”)
x-Dennis Wideman, Worcester
Mathieu Garon, Manchester
x-Jason LaBarbera, Hartford
Joey MacDonald, Grand Rapids
Head Coach: Claude Noel, Milwaukee
Assistant Coach: Todd Richards, Milwaukee
Athletic Trainer: Doug Agnew, Milwaukee
Equipment Manager: Dave Randolph, Milwaukee
2005 CANADIAN AHL ALL-STAR TEAM STARTERS
Jason LaBarbera, Goaltender (Hartford Wolf Pack): Last year’s winner of both the Les Cunningham Award (MVP) and Baz Bastien Award (top goaltender), Jason LaBarbera is back among the top goaltenders in the AHL in 2004-05. Boosted by a personal 14-game winning streak, his 20-6-1 record and 1.90 GAA have helped the Wolf Pack to the second-best record in the league. A native of Burnaby, B.C., LaBarbera is an impressive 80-44-17 with 19 shutouts in 158 career appearances.
Lawrence Nycholat, Defense (Hartford Wolf Pack): Anchoring one of the stingiest defenses in the AHL over the last two seasons, Lawrence Nycholat is tied for third in team scoring with 28 points for the Wolf Pack this year. The 25-year-old Calgary native, who was acquired in 2003 from Minnesota for eventual Calder Cup MVP Johan Holmqvist, made his NHL debut with the New York Rangers last season and was the top-scoring defenseman for the division champion Wolf Pack in 2003-04.
Dennis Wideman, Defense (Worcester IceCats): Tied for Worcester’s team leads with 18 assists and 26 points, defenseman Dennis Wideman has been one of the surprise successes in the AHL this season. Unsigned after being drafted by Buffalo in 2002, Wideman was the Reebok AHL Rookie of the Month for October with eight points in seven games, including a five-point night against Springfield on Oct. 16, his second career pro outing. The native of Kitchener, Ont., was a First Team OHL All-Star in 2004.
Mike Cammalleri, Forward (Manchester Monarchs): A third-year pro out of the U. of Michigan, Mike Cammalleri has been among the AHL’s scoring leaders all season, currently with 28 goals and 61 points in 42 games for Manchester. He had a league-high 14-game scoring streak from Oct. 29 to Nov. 27, and was named CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 10-16. The 22-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., has also recorded 23 points (14g, 9a) in 59 career NHL games with Los Angeles.
Michel Ouellet, Forward (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins): An AHL All-Rookie selection after scoring 30 goals for the Penguins last season, Michel Ouellet has found the net 27 times already in 2004-05 and has a team-best 44 points to go along with a plus-23 rating. Ouellet, 22, has also been lethal in the post-overtime shootout, converting on eight of 14 attempts to date. A native of Rimouski, Que., Ouellet was twice a 40-goal scorer for the hometown Oceanic in the QMJHL.
Jason Spezza, Forward (Binghamton Senators): Taking the AHL by storm in his return, Jason Spezza leads the league with 47 assists and 69 points through 45 games for Binghamton after spending all of last season with Ottawa in the NHL. An AHL All-Star and an All-Rookie Team selection in 2003, Spezza has tallied 20 points on his current eight-game scoring streak and 31 points in his last 14 games, helping the Senators to first place in the East Division. A native of Mississauga, Ont., the 21-year-old Spezza has won the CCM/Vector AHL Player of the Week award twice this season.