Sharks, city of Worcester to host 2009 AHL All-Star Classic

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From NHL.com

WORCESTER, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews has announced that the Worcester Sharks and the city of Worcester have been awarded the 2009 AHL All-Star Classic. The event will take place at the DCU Center in January 2009.

"The American Hockey League is excited to be bringing its premier event to Worcester," said Andrews. "The AHL All-Star Classic is a showcase of our sport's very best young professional players, and a celebration of the American Hockey League and its storied history. We're proud to be working with the Sharks to bring the 2009 event to central New England."

The 2009 event in Worcester will mark the fourth time since it was revived in 1995 that the AHL All-Star Classic will take place in New England. The AHL All-Star Game was last held in Massachusetts in 1959 at the Eastern States Coliseum in West Springfield.

"Ever since we came to Worcester, we have envisioned hosting the AHL All-Star Classic at the DCU Center," said Michael T. Lehr, President and CEO of the Worcester Sharks. "The Sharks are thrilled to be able to host the first AHL All-Star Game in Massachusetts in 50 years and want to thank the AHL Board of Governors and league officials for selecting Worcester for the 2009 AHL All-Star Classic."

The event logo for the 2009 AHL All-Star Classic was also unveiled at the press conference. It can be viewed on theahl.com and sharksahl.com.

The 2009 AHL All-Star Classic in Worcester 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 427 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since 1995, more than 92 percent have competed in the National Hockey League, including Patrice Bergeron, Pavol Demitra, Rick DiPietro, Patrik Elias, Miikka Kiprusoff, Kari Lehtonen, Ryan Miller, Martin St. Louis, Jason Spezza, Eric Staal and Steve Sullivan, as well as current San Jose Sharks Jonathan Cheechoo, Christian Ehrhoff and Patrick Rissmiller.

Dates for the 2009 event have not yet been determined. The 2008 AHL All-Star Classic is scheduled for Jan. 27-28, 2008, in Binghamton, N.Y.