In all the fun and friendliness that comes with watching the stars of today and tomorrow during AHL All-Star Classic, it is important to remember those who paved the way for today’s modern game.
Formed in 2006, the American Hockey League Hall of Fame has honored those with tremendous accomplishments and helped mold the league into what it is today. The hall currently features 50 members and boasts notable names such as Eddie Shore, Jack A. Butterfield, as well as current Minnesota Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau.
This year’s honorees include four former players: Jim Bartlett, Don Biggs, Brian Kilrea, and Glenn Merkosky.
Bartlett played 955 regular-season games in his AHL career, good for 10th on the league’s all-time list. He ranks ninth with 360 goals and 21st with 742 points.
Biggs skated in 597 games and eight full seasons and is tied for 24th on the league’s all-time scoring list with 692 career points (273 goals, 419 assists), ranking seventh in points per game among members of the 500-point club.
A 2003 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame, Kilrea totaled 624 points in his 623 career AHL games. And in a history of AHL hockey in the city of Springfield, that spans eight decades, he is the all-time leader in assists (442) and ranks third in both points (611) and games played (590).
After scoring at least 24 goals in each of his 10 AHL seasons, Merkosky retired with 325 goals, a total that still ranks 13th in league history. He is also among the AHL’s all-time playoff leaders with 39 goals (T-9th), 51 assists (T-13th) and 90 points (T-9th) in 107 games (13th). Merkosky served one season as an assistant coach in Adirondack, helping the club to yet another Calder Cup championship in 1992. He returned to Glens Falls as head coach for the Red Wings’ final three seasons (1996-99), and as a long-time scout for Detroit, he has helped the organization claim two more Calder Cup titles in Grand Rapids.
The Class of 2018 will be honored as part of the festivities at the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino. The American Hockey League Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony is scheduled for January 29, 2018, at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y
Tickets for the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino are priced at $39, $49, $69, $89 and $99, and include admission to both the Skills Competition on Jan. 28 and the All-Star Challenge on Jan. 29. Utica Comets season-ticket holders will have an opportunity to reserve their seats beginning Oct. 23; remaining tickets will go on sale to the public on Nov. 4 at 10 a.m. ET (in person) and noon ET (online).