GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The 2017 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross that is being held Sunday and Monday at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pa., will reach millions of hockey fans worldwide through extensive television, internet streaming, radio and social media coverage.
Griffins forward Matt Lorito and defenseman Robbie Russo will represent the Central Division, which will be led by head coach Todd Nelson.
The 2017 AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. and the All-Star Challenge on Monday at 7 p.m. will both be televised live to some 100 million international households including national audiences on Sportsnet and Sportsnet ONE in Canada and more than 20 regional networks across the United States. Fox Sports Detroit will provide live regional coverage of the skills competition on Sunday and a delayed broadcast (11 p.m.) of the all-star challenge on Monday.
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AHLLive.com will offer a free online video stream of the two-day event while SiriusXM NHL Network Radio (channel 91) and the Phantoms Radio 24/7 channel on TuneIn will provide play-by-play of Monday’s All-Star Challenge.
Throughout the weekend, fans are encouraged to follow the AHL’s social media platforms on Twitter (@TheAHL), Facebook (fb.com/TheAHL) and Instagram (@TheAHL) and use #AHLAllStar for a behind-the-scenes look at all the action.
The 2017 AHL All-Star Skills Competition presented by Giant Food Stores and Velaspan on Sunday will pit the all-stars from the two Eastern Conference divisions against those from the two Western Conference divisions in seven skills events.
In the 2017 AHL All-Star Challenge on Monday, the four teams will participate in a round-robin tournament featuring six games of 10 minutes each, played entirely at 3-on-3. The two teams with the best records at the end of the round-robin will face off for the championship, a six-minute game also played at 3-on-3.
The All-Star Classic festivities also include the AHL Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony, to be held at Miller Symphony Hall at 11 a.m. on Monday. The ceremony will feature the induction of Billy Dea, Bryan Helmer, Rob Murray and Doug Yingst as the AHL Hall of Fame Class of 2017 and will also celebrate honorary All-Star Classic captains Daniel Briere and Terry Murray. A former Griffin, Helmer appeared in every game during his two-year stint (2004-06) in West Michigan and helped the club capture the AHL’s 2005-06 regular season championship as he was named a Second Team AHL All-Star. In 160 games with Grand Rapids, Helmer scored 81 points (19-62—81) and registered 202 penalty minutes.
In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, trainers, executives and broadcasters of all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of NHL players last season were AHL graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers. In 2015-16, over 7.1 million fans attended AHL regular-season and playoff games across North America, the highest total attendance in league history.