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WEAPONS OF MASS. DESTRUCTION?


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Jakub Kindl and goaltender Daniel Larsson have been selected to play for the PlanetUSA AHL All-Star Team at the 2009 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Charter Communications, which will be held Jan. 25-26 at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass. Kindl was chosen as a starter via on-line fan balloting at theahl.com, while Larsson was selected as a reserve by a committee of AHL coaches.

Kindl, 21, is enjoying a breakout second season with Grand Rapids. He leads Griffins blueliners, ranks fifth overall on the club and places seventh among AHL defensemen with 22 points (5-17-22) through 36 contests, already eclipsing his offensive totals (3-14—17) from 75 games as a rookie in 2007-08.

The Sumperk, Czech Republic, native also stands second on the Griffins with 17 assists and leads the team with 10 power play assists, helping fuel a Grand Rapids offense that ranks fourth in the AHL (3.36 goals per game) and a power play unit that is tied for sixth (19.8%).

Detroit’s first choice (19th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kindl gained valuable experience last spring while serving as a “black ace” during the Red Wings’ run to the 2008 Stanley Cup championship.

Kindl is the sixth Grand Rapids defenseman in eight years to be selected to play in the AHL All-Star Classic, joining Jonathan Ericsson (2008), Derek Meech (2007), Niklas Kronwall (2004-05), Travis Richards (2004) and John Gruden (2002).

Larsson, 22, is experiencing a stellar first season in North America after being named the Swedish Elite League’s top goaltender and rookie of the year for 2007-08. He shows a 12-4-1 record through 19 games and ranks among the AHL’s leaders with four shutouts (T1st), a 0.924 save percentage (4th), a 2.30 goals against average (T4th) and 12 wins (T9th).

A native of Boden, Sweden, Larsson has teamed with 2008 AHL All-Star Jimmy Howard to backstop a Griffins defense that ranks third in the league (2.58 goals allowed per game) and that recently set a franchise record by recording four shutouts in a six-game span. 
 
Starting with a 1-0 win over Houston on Nov. 11, Larsson has posted a 10-2-1 record with four shutouts, a 1.80 GAA and a 0.939 save percentage over his last 14 outings. Amazingly, his 3-1 loss last Friday at Hartford marked his first regulation loss of the season when playing an entire game, and it continued a trend in which he has posted a 0-4 record in his first decision of each month and a 12-0-1 mark in all other games.

Detroit’s fourth pick (92nd overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Larsson becomes the ninth Grand Rapids goaltender in 13 years to be chosen to play in an all-star game, following in the footsteps of Howard (2008), Joey MacDonald (2005), Marc Lamothe (2003) and Martin Prusek (2002) in the AHL, and Mike Fountain (2001), Jani Hurme (2000), Ian Gordon (1998) and Pokey Reddick (1997) in the International Hockey League.

Kindl and Larsson will be joined at the 2009 AHL All-Star Classic by three former Griffins, including forward Alexandre Giroux (Hershey) and defensemen Bryan Helmer (Hershey) and Danny Syvret (Philadelphia) of the Canadian AHL All-Star Team. 

2009 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Charter Communications
Jan. 25-26 at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass.

PlanetUSA AHL All-Stars

Forwards
Keith Aucoin, Hershey
x-Chris Bourque, Hershey
x-Nikita Filatov, Syracuse
x-Nathan Gerbe, Portland
Martins Karsums, Providence
Tim Kennedy, Portland
Petri Kontiola, Rockford
Drew Miller, Iowa
Joe Motzko, Chicago
Ryan Potulny, Springfield
Michael Ryan, Albany
Jeff Taffe, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Ryan Vesce, Worcester
 
Defensemen
Rory Fitzpatrick, Rochester ("C")
Jonas Junland, Peoria
Mattias Karlsson, Binghamton
x-Jakub Kindl, Grand Rapids
Ben Lovejoy, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Bobby Sanguinetti, Hartford
Jaime Sifers, Toronto
x-Yannick Weber, Hamilton
 
Goaltenders
Jeff Frazee, Lowell
Daniel Larsson, Grand Rapids
x-Cory Schneider, Manitoba
 
Head Coach: Don Granato, Chicago
Assistant Coaches: Jason Christie and Wendell Young, Chicago
 

Canadian AHL All-Stars

Forwards
Steve Downie, Norfolk
x-Alexandre Giroux, Hershey
x-Claude Giroux, Philadelphia
Mike Iggulden, Bridgeport
Jason Krog, Manitoba
Corey Locke, Houston
Brett MacLean, San Antonio
Mark Mancari, Portland
x-Chris Minard, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Cal O'Reilly, Milwaukee
Teddy Purcell, Manchester
Martin St. Pierre, Providence
Mike Santorelli, Milwaukee

Defensemen
x-Johnny Boychuk, Providence
Kyle Cumiskey, Lake Erie
Cody Franson, Milwaukee
Bryan Helmer, Hershey ("C")
x-Derek Joslin, Worcester
Andrew MacDonald, Bridgeport
Brett Palin, Quad City
Danny Syvret, Philadelphia

Goaltenders
Mike Brodeur, Rochester
Barry Brust, Houston
x-Brian Elliott, Binghamton

Head Coach: Bob Woods, Hershey
Assistant Coach: Mark French, Hershey
 
x-starters



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