AHL featured in Gretzky NHL 2005 video game

The American Hockey League announced today a three-year partnership with Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., which will feature the AHL in the all-new signature hockey franchise, Gretzky™ NHL® 2005 from 989 Sports®.

The partnership marks the AHL’s first involvement in the video game field. Gretzky NHL 2005 for the PlayStation® 2 computer entertainment system is available in stores now.

Thanks to exclusive licensing with the AHL, Gretzky NHL 2005 allows users to bring the stars of tomorrow to the ice today, with a deep and detailed franchise mode featuring American Hockey League team and player names.

“We are very excited with our involvement in Gretzky NHL 2005,” said Chris Nikolis, vice president of sales and marketing for the AHL. “The American Hockey League is proud of its role in developing NHL players and this is a great opportunity to highlight that partnership. We anticipate increasing our involvement with 989 Sports in years to come.”

“The AHL is an important addition to Gretzky NHL 2005 and will provide depth to our game that is not available in any other NHL-themed game,” said Dave Perkinson, senior producer, 989 Sports. “We look forward to strengthening our partnership in the future.”

The independent Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rates Gretzky NHL 2005 “E” for Everyone.

989 Sports® is the sports software brand of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. Known for its top-selling sports franchise titles such as NFL GameDay™, MLB™, NBA ShootOut, NCAA® Final Four and NCAA® GameBreaker, 989 Sports is committed to developing authentic and innovative sports games to appeal to both the professional athlete and the hard-core sports video game fan.

Now in its 69th season, the American Hockey League serves as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League clubs. More than 100 alumni recently competed in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey tournament, and over 80 percent of all players to compete in the NHL in 2003-04 were AHL graduates, with more than 400 players taking the ice in both leagues.