Dates, logos set for ’06 AHL All-Star Classic

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced today that the 2006 AHL All-Star Classic will take place on Tuesday, January 31, and Wednesday, February 1, at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Man. The formal announcement was made at a media conference at the MTS Centre today.

“We have been eagerly anticipating the 2006 AHL All-Star Classic since awarding it to the Manitoba Moose and the city of Winnipeg last year,” said Andrews. “The American Hockey League is proud to be bringing our annual showcase event to one of the premier hockey cities and venues in North America.”

The MTS Centre opened its doors in November 2004 and has immediately been recognized as one of the finest event facilities in Canada. The Moose have sold out the building 18 times with seating capped at 8,812 for regular-season games; capacity can be expanded to more than 15,000.

“The 2006 AHL All-Star Classic will once again be an outstanding opportunity to show the hockey world what Winnipeg has to offer,” said Mark Chipman, president of the Manitoba Moose and chairman of True North Sports & Entertainment, Ltd., which owns the Moose and the MTS Centre.

The Moose began play in Winnipeg in 1996 and joined the American Hockey League in 2001. The top development team of the Vancouver Canucks, the Moose are part of a tradition of professional hockey in the city of Winnipeg that dates back to 1972; the 2006 AHL All-Star Classic will be the city’s first pro hockey All-Star event.

Also unveiled at the media conference were the logos for the event. In Moose colors of forest green and bronze, the primary event logo incorporates Manitoba’s snarling moose-head identity mark, while the secondary event logo features a pair of moose antlers emerging from a five-pointed star.

The 2006 AHL All-Star Classic in Winnipeg will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League, competing in the AHL All-Star Skills Competition and the AHL All-Star Game. Of the 364 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since 1995, more than 90 percent have competed in the National Hockey League, including Daniel Briere, Andrew Brunette, Pavol Demitra, Rick DiPietro, J.P. Dumont, Patrik Elias, Miikka Kiprusoff, Manny Legace, John Madden, Ladislav Nagy, Vaclav Prospal, Martin St. Louis, Marc Savard, Jason Spezza, Steve Sullivan and Tomas Vokoun, as well as current Moose players Nolan Baumgartner, Ryan Kesler and Jason King.