The American Hockey League (AHL) today announced that San Antonio Rampage defenseman Garrett Stafford and right wing Brett MacLean have been selected to the Western Conference AHL All-Star Team for the league’s 2011 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross to be played on Jan. 31 in Hershey, Pa. In addition, Stafford was voted on by fans as a starter for the Western Conference Team.
For the first time in franchise history, two members of the Rampage team have been selected to represent San Antonio at the annual AHL All-Star Classic. It is also the first time a Rampage player has been chosen as a starter. This is Stafford and MacLean’s second AHL All-Star Classic selection.
Stafford, 30, leads all AHL defensemen with 30 points (9 goals, 21 assists) in 34 games. His 17 power-play points, including 14 power-play assists, is the most on the Rampage roster and ranks him third in the league among defensemen. The Los Angeles, Calif. native is in his first season with the Rampage and eighth season in the AHL. During his rookie season in 2004, Stafford was selected to represent PlanetUSA at the AHL All-Star Classic where he tallied two shots on goal.
MacLean, 22, leads the Rampage in scoring (36 points), goals (16), power-play goals (7), shots (163) and plus/minus (+12). He is tied for eighth in the league in scoring (36 points) and is ranked second among skaters in shots (163). MacLean is currently in his third season with the Rampage and has broken several all-time franchise records this season, including, games played, goals, power-play goals and points. He played in his first NHL game on Dec. 29, 2010 and recorded his first NHL goal on his first shot attempt. The London, Ontario native was selected to the Canadian All-Star Team at the 2009 AHL All-Star Classic where he recorded an assist.
Stafford and MacLean are among eight defensemen, 13 forwards and three goaltenders representing the Western Conference. They are the ninth and 10th players, respectively, to be nominated to represent the Rampage in the annual event and were chosen by a committee of the league’s coaches and AHL fans.
Of the 528 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since 1995, more than 93 percent have competed in the National Hockey League, including Patrice Bergeron, Dan Boyle, Daniel Briere, Dustin Byfuglien, Brian Campbell, Zdeno Chara, Eric Fehr, Miikka Kiprusoff, Kari Lehtonen, Ryan Miller, Zach Parise, Bobby Ryan, Martin St. Louis, Jason Spezza, Eric Staal and Tomas Vokoun.
The 2011 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross in Hershey will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League, competing in the AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday, Jan. 20 (2 p.m. CDT) and the AHL All-Star Game on Monday, Jan. 31 (6 p.m. CDT). Both events will be televised nationally in the United States and Canada.