Recently, at the St. John’s Convention Centre, the American Hockey League welcomed four new members into the AHL Hall of Fame. Now in its 7th season of play, the 30 outstanding teams within the AHL have been the establishment for an immense amount of development hockey and the league has been integral in grooming more than 88 percent of current players in the National Hockey League.
The Induction and Awards Ceremony was a part of the events that occurred around the 2014 American Hockey League All-Star Classic with was presented by Assante Wealth Management. The game was held at the Mile One Centre on Wednesday February 12th and was the first international competition between the AHL All Star team and the Swedish Hockey League’s Färjestad BK with the All Stars picking up a 7-2 victory.
The AHL All-Star Game aired live on Sportsnet ONE in Canada and on other networks in the U.S. with R.J. Broadhead, Sam Cosentino and Rob Faulds commentating on the play. Three points each went to top forwards Mike Hoffman of the Binghamton Senators and Brandon Pirri of the Rockford IceHogs for the All Stars. As the league’s second scoring leader, Hoffman was named AHL player of the game after collecting a goal and two assists while 2012-13’s top scorer Pirri, with two goals and an assist, was granted the title of Assante Wealth Management MVP.
Other points scoring went to Bridgeport Sound Tigers’ Ryan Strome with two goals, and with two assists each were collected by the Albany Devils’ Joe Whitney and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguin’s Brian Dumoulin. Both All Star goalies earned their keep with Dustin Tokarski and Jake Allen of the Hamilton Bulldogs and Chicago Wolves respectively stopping 34 of Färjestad’s 36 shots on net. The SHL club has won nine Swedish championships and this is the first time that they bring their talent across the pond to compete in North America. They put on a decent show with team members Rickard Walling and Magnus Nygren each picking up a goal. The goalies, Pekka Tuokkola and Fred Pettersson-Wentzel made a valiant effort and stopped 23 of the 30 shots on net. The SHL team chose Christian Berglund as their top player of the evening.
At the induction ceremony, Rob Faulds presided over the event as MC. Bill Dineen was honoured for his notable triumphs throughout his time in the AHL. Dineen was a top goal scorer on the ice and has grabbed the Calder Cup on two occasions as the head coach for the Adirondack Red Wings. Also acknowledged for this honour was 3-time Calder Cup winning coach, Al MacNeil boasting the league’s highest percentage for wins in its history. Bob Perreault was also recognized as an inductee with a record of four Calder Cups and 229 game wins as a goaltender and finally, top rated AHL defenseman, John Slaney was also included as a Hall of Famer. You can check out other past winners online at the Hall of Fame website.