Ryan Craig

Craig Named Playing Captain for 2017 AHL All-Star Classic

rdavidson

Monsters captain selected by AHL in recognition of outstanding leadership and service.

CLEVELAND – The AHL’s defending Calder Cup Champions, the Cleveland Monsters, proudly powered by Constellation, announced Monday, in conjunction with the American Hockey League, that Monsters captain Ryan Craig was selected, alongside Hershey Bears forward Chris Bourque, as a playing captain for the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross, to be held January 29-30 at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA, home of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Ryan Craig is in his 14th pro season and ninth as an AHL team captain, serving in that role with Springfield, Norfolk and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before the last two years in Cleveland. Captain of the Monsters’ Calder Cup championship team in 2015-16, Craig has skated in 667 AHL games and totaled 165 goals and 181 assists for 346 points in his career, with four goals and four assists in 27 games for the Monsters in 2016-17. The 34-year-old native of Abbotsford, B.C., is also a two-time winner of his team’s IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award, and has appeared in 198 National Hockey League contests with Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and Columbus. This will be Craig’s first trip to the AHL All-Star Classic.

Starting at just $67, tickets for the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross are on sale now and include admission to Saturday’s Phan Fest & Tailgate Party, Sunday’s AHL All-Star Skills Competition and Monday’s AHL All-Star Challenge. To purchase event tickets, please visit www.phantomshockey.com or www.pplcenter.com.

The 2017 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League: since 1995, more than 93 percent of All-Star Classic participants have gone on to compete in the National Hockey League, including Jake Allen, Artem Anisimov, Patrice Bergeron, Ben Bishop, Troy Brouwer, Ryan Callahan, Zdeno Chara, Logan Couture, Braden Holtby, Tyler Johnson, Martin Jones, Chris Kunitz, Zach Parise, Tuukka Rask, Pekka Rinne, Bobby Ryan, Cory Schneider, Patrick Sharp, Jason Spezza, P.K. Subban and Mats Zuccarello.

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, trainers, executives and broadcasters of all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of NHL players last season were AHL graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers. In 2015-16, over 7.1 million fans attended AHL regular-season and playoff games across North America, the highest total attendance in league history.

The Cleveland Monsters are part of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena organization and also owned by a group led by Cavaliers Majority Owner and Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert. The group also owns and operates the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League playing at Quicken Loans Arena and the Canton Charge of the NBA Development League playing in nearby Canton, Ohio at the Canton Civic Center.