Hamhuis, Gamache Selcted to All-Star Team
The American Hockey League announced today that Milwaukee Admirals defenseman Dan Hamhuis and forward Simon Gamache have been selected to the Canadian All-Star team for the 2005 Dodge AHL All-Star Classic to be played next month in Manchester, NH.
Hamhuis, a native of Smithers, BC, has emerged as one of the top blueliners in the AHL. In 40 games with the Ads this year he has posted seven goals and 20 assists for 27 points and a +8 rating. He currently is tied for the AHL lead with six power play goals and is tied for sixth in scoring among league defenseman.
A first-round pick by Nashville in the 2001 NHL Entry draft, Hamhuis spent 2002-03 with the Admirals before playing the entire season last year with the Predators, tying a franchise rookie record by playing in 80 games. He notched 26 points (7g-19a) for the Preds on the year, including a five-point (1g-4a) night on March 4 versus Pittsburgh. The 6-0, 208-pound defenseman was second among NHL rookies in ice-time (22:08/game), game-winning goals (4), and assists (19).
"Coaches dream about having players like Dan on their team," noted Admirals Head Coach Claude Noel. "His game is complete. Some players are good offensively, some are good defensively, but Dan excels at both areas. He can play anywhere on the ice."
Gamache has put together an impressive first half of the season, recording 55 points (19g-36a) and a +9 rating in 43 games for the Ads. He third in the American Hockey League in points and is on pace to break the 100 point barrier for the season, a feat that has not been accomplished by a Milwaukee player since the team joined the AHL in 2001-02.
A native of Thetford Mines, PQ, Gamache was a vital cog on an Admirals squad that captured the 2004 Calder Cup. In the playoff run the 5-9, 185-pound left wing posted 24 points (6g-18) in 22 games, good for second in the league in playoff scoring. Gamache, originally drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, has 2 points (1g-1a) in 11 NHL contests with the Predators and Thrashers.
"What makes Simon so great is his passion for the game," said Noel. "He is relentless in his pursuit of the puck and is a smart offensive player. He is relatively small, but I think that makes him that much more difficult to handle for other teams defenseman."
Hamhuis and Gamache will definitely not be lonely when they travel to Manchester. Their coach for the game will be none other than Claude Noel, who earned the right when the Ads won the AHL title last season. In addition, teammate Brad Tiley has already been selected as the Captain for the Canadian All-Stars.
The 2005 Dodge AHL All-Star Classic will take place at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H., home of the AHL's Manchester Monarchs. The event gets underway on Sunday, February 13, with the 2005 AHL All-Star Skills Competition at 7:00 p.m. (ET). The annual All-Star Game follows at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on Monday, February 14, and will be televised live nationally on ESPN2 in the United States and on Rogers Sportnet in Canada.
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