PRINCETON, N.J. – The American Hockey League has announced that former Mississippi and current Manchester head coach Bruce Boudreau will serve as the head coach of the PlanetUSA All-Star team at the 2005 Dodge AHL All-Star Classic.
Manchester was 32-9-3-2 and had the best points percentage (.750) through action on Sunday which was the predetermined date to decide the PlanetUSA coach. Boudreau, who led Mississippi to the 1999 Kelly Cup Championship, is in his fourth season as head coach of Manchester, the AHL affiliate of Reading.
The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on February 14 at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H. Boudreau and Philadelphia’s Bill Barber (1999) are the only head coaches in modern history to serve in an AHL All-Star game played in their own arena.
Boudreau joins Claude Noel, who is head coach of the Canadian team, and former ECHL players Simon Gamache, Michel Ouellet, Lawrence Nycholat, Jason LaBarbera, Joey MacDonald and Andrew Hutchinson in the All-Star Game. AHL fans voted Ouellet, Nycholat and LaBarbera as starters for the Canadian team.
Noel was selected because he led Milwaukee to the 2004 AHL Championship, the 15th consecutive year that the ECHL has been represented on the Calder Cup. Noel was named 2004 AHL Coach of the Year, becoming the fourth ECHL coach in a row to be named outstanding coach in the AHL and the fifth in the past six seasons to earn the honor. Noel, however, is the only coach that has been named Coach of the Year in both the ECHL and the AHL.
The ECHL has affiliations with 24 of the 28 teams in the AHL and 104 players in the ECHL are on AHL contracts. The ECHL has affiliations with 23 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League and 96 players in the ECHL are on NHL contracts.