Wednesday, January 13, 2010

All-Star updates

One week from today the ECHL All-Star game comes to Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, less than hour east of Staples Center.

The game is being hosted by the Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings and AHL Manchester Monarchs.

For those unfamiliar with the ECHL, think of it this way - if the Monarchs are the Kings 'AAA' farm team, the Reign are their 'AA' equivalent.

Most of the top prospects go directly to the AHL in Manchester. However, several of the Monarchs players this year were in Ontario last season - guys like Bud Holloway, Geoff Walker and Jeff Zatkoff (who recently collected his eighth win of the season - in just 12 games - backing up Johnathan Bernier). Holloway, a 3rd round draft pick of the Kings in 2006, is currently second on the Monarchs in goals (10) and third in points (22).

Here are the latest updates on this year's ECHL All Star game to get you ready:

* Line-up Changes - Ontario had four players selected to play in the game - forwards Greg Hogeboom, Jon Rheault and Peter Lenes; along with defenseman David Walker. Yet, Rheault has been playing in Manchester recently, so Adam Miller of the Las Vegas Wranglers will replace him on the All Star roster. Miller leads the Wranglers with 21 assists and is tied for the team lead with 30 points in 34 games.

* Lunch with Luc - The ECHL All Star luncheon is scheduled for next week too. LA Kings President and Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille will be the guest speaker. Individual tickets and "super tickets" (which includes tickets to the luncheon, the skills competition, a fan fest and the actual All Star game) can be purchased at or by telephoning the Reign at (909) 941-7825.

Coach Neil Smith? - Former NY Rangers General Manager Neil Smith is now coaching in the ECHL. Smith, best known for being the NY boss who helped bring the Stanley Cup back to the Big Apple in 1994, owns the the Johnstown Chiefs of the ECHL. Last week Smith made a coaching change, putting himself behind the bench. He'll be in Ontario next week to do the video broadcast of the game, available on television via the NHL Network (DirecTV channel 215) and for free over the internet at and on

We'll have more on the ECHL All Star Game and the surrounding festivities leading up to next week. If you're schedule is free, you should check out the game in Ontario Wednesday night. It should be fun and you just never know who might end up in the NHL down the line.
The Mayor
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