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Portland Pirates Announce 20th Anniversary All-Time Team

April 22, 2013 - American Hockey League (AHL) Portland Pirates

Portland, Maine - The Portland Pirates today announced their 20th Anniversary All-Time Team as chosen by a fan vote that took place during the month of February. Each team, first and second, consists of a head coach, 3 forwards, 2 defensemen, and a goaltender.

The 20th Anniversary All-Time First Team consists of forwards Alexandre Bolduc, Brad Church, and Kent Hulst, with defensemen Steve Poapst and Sergei Gonchar and goaltender Olaf Kolzig rounding out the team. The first team head coach is Barry Trotz. The 20th Anniversary All-Time Second Team features forwards Andrew Brunette, Jeff Nelson, and Trent Whitfield, defensemen Patrick Boileau and Marc-Andre Gragnani, as well as goaltender Jhonas Enroth. Kevin Dineen is the second team head coach.

Alexandre Bolduc led all voting for the all-time team, and is the only current Pirate to be named to the all-time team. A native of Montreal, Quebec, Bolduc is in his second season with the Pirates and currently serves as the Pirates Captain. Bolduc leads the team with 51 points on the season (24 goals, 27 assists). A veteran of 8 AHL seasons, Bolduc has played in the NHL with the Vancouver Canucks and the Phoenix Coyotes.

Kent Hulst, a native of St. Thomas, Ontario, played 8 seasons for the Pirates. Hulst holds the Pirates record for career goals with 147 as well as the record for career points with 360 and games played with 473. Hulst holds the record for game winning goals with 19, is second in career power play goals with 47, and is third in assists with 213. Currently the head coach of the Portland Junior Pirates, Hulst entered the Pirates Hall of Fame in 2002.

Brad Church was inducted into the Pirates Hall of Fame in 2012 after playing 281 games for the Pirates over 6 seasons with the Pirates. Church, who currently serves as the General Manager of the Portland Junior Pirates, won the Pirates 1999-2000 Unsung Hero award and register-red 40 goals and 64 assists in his Pirates career to go with 402 penalty minutes. Church played- in 2 NHL games, both with the Washington Capitals.

Steve Poapst led all defensemen in voting for the 20th Anniversary All-Time Team. A native of Cornwall, Ontario, Poapst appeared in parts of 7 seasons with the Pirates, registering 195 points in 454 games. A veteran of 307 NHL games for the Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, and the St. Louis Blues, Poapst was inducted into the Pirates Hall of Fame in 2001.

Sergei Gonchar is the only defenseman on either the 20th Anniversary First or Second All-Time Team who is still an active player. Gonchar only played parts of 2 season for the Pirates, but they were memorable, as he played 2 games during the 1994 Calder Cup Playoffs and followed his playoff performance with a 42 point season as a defenseman. During the 1994-1995 season, which also saw him play 31 games for the Washington Capitals. Gonchar tallies 10 goals and 32 assists to go with 67 penalty minutes and a +/- rating of 39, good for the Pirates best +/- rating in team history. Gonchar currently plays for the Ottawa Senators and has played more than 1160 NHL games for Washington, Boston, Pittsburgh, and Ottawa.

The 20th Anniversary All-Time First Team goaltender is Olaf Kolzig. Kolzig, a native of Johannesburg, South Africa, spent parts of 4 seasons with the Portland Pirates, appearing in 36 games. Kolzig's 22 wins is tied for 10th in Pirates history, and his 4 shutouts are 7th, Kolzig had a 2.73 Goals Against Average for Portland and won both the Harry "Hap" Holms Award, given to the goaltenders of the team with the lowest goals against average during the season, and the Jack A. Butterfield Award, given to the Playoff MVP, during the Pirates' inaugural Calder Cup Championship season in 1994. Kolzig was inducted into the Pirates' Hall of Fame in 2000.

The First Team Head- coach, Barry Trotz, served as the first head coach in Pirate history, compiling a record of 158-109-42-11. Trotz was at the helm of the Pirates' inaugural Calder Cup Championship season in 1994, winning the 1994 Pieri Award as the AHL Head Coach of the Year. Trotz spent 4 seasons as the Pirates' skipper before joining the Nashville Predators as their first head coach. Trotz is the only head coach in Nashville history and is currently the longest serving head coach in the NHL. Trotz was inducted into the Pirates' Hall of Fame in 2006.

Jeff Nelson, the newest Pirates' Hall of Famer, headlines the Pirates' 20th Anniversary All-Time Second Team. Nelson played parts of 5 years with the Pirates, tallying 124 goals (second all time) and 222 assists (second all time). His 346 career points are second only to Kent Hulst's 360 points. Nelson had 4 hat tricks during his Pirates career, second only to Martin Gendron's 5, and played in a total of 336 games for Portland. Nelson set the single season points record with 107 during the Pirates' inaugural Calder Cup Championship season in 1994. Nelson also played 52 NHL games for the Washington Capitals.

Andrew Brunette, the Pirates career leader in power play goals with 51, spent parts of 5 seasons with the Pirates, tallying 110 goals and 224 assists. The 224 career assists are the most all-time for any Pirates player. Brunette led the Pirates in scoring in each of his last three seasons with the Pirates. Brunette would play 1110 games in the NHL, registering 268 goals and 465 assists for 6 different NHL clubs, and was inducted into the Pirates Hall of Fame in 1999.

Trent Whitfield is the only forward on either the 20th Anniversary All-Time First or Second Team who is an active member of another AHL team. The former Pirates captain is the current captain of the Providence Bruins, where he has played for parts of the last 4 seasons. In parts of 7 seasons with the Pirates, Whitfield played in 348 games, registering 102 goals and 153 assists, all good for 4th all-time in the Pirates record book. Whitfield was named to the 10th Anniversary All-Time Second Team, and has played in 194 NHL games for Washington, New York (Rangers), St. Louis, and Boston.

Patrick Boileau leads the 20th Anniversary All-Time Second Team defensemen. Boileau holds the Pirates' defenseman records for games played (459), goals (63), power play goals (27) game winning goals (8), and points (206). Boileau trails only Steve Poapst in assists with 143 for his Pirates career. A 7 year Pirate veteran, Boileau was named to the 10th Anniversary All-Time First Team, and went on to play 48 NHL games with the Washington Capitals, Detroit Red Wings, and Pittsburgh Penguins before retiring in 2008 after playing 4 seasons outside the US.

Marc-Andre Gragnani is the only active defenseman to make either the 20th Anniversary All-Time First or Second Teams. Despite only playing parts of 3 seasons with the Pirates, Gragnani racked up 33 goals and 121 assists for 154 points in 205 games played. Gragnani also had 13 power play goals and 2 shorthanded goals for the Pirates. Currently playing for the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL, Gragnani has played in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, and Carolina Hurricanes, appearing in 74 games.

Jhonas Enroth was named to the 20th Anniversary All-Time Second Team after narrowly beating out Pirates Hall of Famer Byron Dafoe. Enroth spent parts of 3 seasons with the Pirates, playing in 147 games. His 74 wins are second all-time in Pirates goaltending history, to go with his 8 shutouts and 4,064 saves. Enroth played 8,598 minutes for Portland, good for second all time, and currently serves as Ryan Miller's backup in Buffalo. In his NHL Career, Enroth has appeared in 48 games for Buffalo with a 19-16-2 record, good for a .912 save percentage and a 2.78 goals against average.

Kevin Dineen serves as the 20th Anniversary All-Time Second Team coach. Dineen, the current head coach of the Florida Panthers, served as the head coach of the Pirates from 2005-2011. Dineen's Pirates teams only missed the playoffs once during his 6 seasons with Portland, compiling a record of 266-155-30-29. Dineen's 266 wins with the Pirates is the all-time coaching record. Dineen served as head coach of the team under both the Ducks and Sabres affiliations.

The 20th Anniversary All-Time First Team has 5 Portland Pirates Hall of Famers (Trotz, Church, Hulst, Poapst, Kolzig), while the 20th Anniversary All-Time Second Team has two (Brunette and Nelson). Both the first team and second team head coaches are current NHL head coaches, with Barry Trotz serving as the head coach of the Nashville Predators and Kevin Dineen coaching the Florida Panthers. Five players (Bolduc, Gonchar, Whitfield, Gragnani, and Enroth) are still active players, with Enroth and Gonchar playing in the NHL. Only one player, Alexandre Bolduc, is still a Portland Pirate, and is currently on recall with the Phoenix Coyotes. Of the players named to the 20th Anniversary All-Time teams, 8 were named to the Portland Pirates 10th Anniversary All-Time Team, with Hulst, Church, Nelson, Kolzig, Poapst, Boileau, and Brunette chosen for the 10th Anniversary All-Time First team and Gonchar and Whitfield members of the 10th Anniversary All-Time Second Team.

Portland Pirates 20th Anniversary All-Time First Team:

Head Coach: Barry Trotz

Forwards: Alexandre Bolduc, Brad Church, Kent Hulst

Defensemen: Steve Poapst, Sergei Gonchar

Goaltender: Olaf Kolzig

Portland Pirates 20th Anniversary All-Time Second Team:

Head Coach: Kevin Dineen

Forwards: Andrew Brunette, Jeff Nelson, Trent Whitfield

Defensemen: Patrick Boileau, Marc-Andre Gragnani

Goaltender: Jhonas Enroth

Tickets are available for the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs against the Syracuse Crunch! For tickets, call (207) 775-3458 or go online at ticketmaster.com. 2013-14 Season Tickets are also on sale by calling (207) 828-4665 ext. 350!

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