Steen, Dempsey named All-Star honorary captains

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced today that Thomas Steen and Nathan Dempsey will serve as the honorary captains for the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Assante Wealth Management, to be held February 11-12 in St. John’s, N.L., between a team of American Hockey League all-stars and the Swedish Hockey League’s Färjestad BK.

Each year, the All-Star Classic honorary captains join the participating teams in the locker room and on the benches during the Skills Competition and All-Star Game, and are recognized for their careers at the annual AHL Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony.

Thomas Steen began his pro career in his native Sweden, and in 1980-81 he was named the Player of the Year in the Elitserien while leading Färjestad BK to a league championship. Steen went on to become a star in the National Hockey League as well, playing 950 games and recording 817 points over 14 seasons (1981-95) with the Winnipeg Jets, who would retire his number 25.

Steen also had success in international competition, winning three World Junior Championships medals and two World Championships medals, and helping Sweden to a second-place finish at the 1984 Canada Cup tournament.

A mainstay in St. John’s for eight seasons with the Maple Leafs from 1994 to 2002, Nathan Dempsey played more games (508) than any player in the city’s AHL hockey history. Dempsey captained the Leafs for five years and appeared in two AHL All-Star Classics, including the 2002 event at Mile One Centre. He was named a Second Team AHL All-Star on defense in 2001-02 and also received the Fred T. Hunt Award that season for sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.

The Alberta native played 260 games in the National Hockey League during his career with Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston.

A limited number of tickets remain available for the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic. They can be purchase in person in person at the Mile One Centre box office (12-5 NT), by phone at 709-576-7657 (9:30-5:30 NT), or online at Tickets for the two-day event are $100 (plus taxes and surcharges) and include admission to both the All-Star Skills Competition on Feb. 11 and the All-Star Game on Feb. 12.

The 2014 AHL All-Star Classic will mark the first time ever that a Swedish Hockey League team has competed in North America. Founded in 1932 and based in the city of Karlstad, Sweden, Färjestad BK – led by team CEO Håkan Loob – is one of the most successful franchises in all of European hockey, playing in 19 league finals and winning nine Swedish league championships, including four since 2002.

The 2014 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Assante Wealth Management will be the 20th edition of the modern AHL All-Star event, and the first to feature an international opponent. Of the 630 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since the event was reinstated in 1995, more than 93 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.