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AHL news 12/20

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Rookie Backes Recalled by St. Louis Blues

Peoria, IL (December 19, 2006) - St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that right wing David Backes has been recalled from the Peoria Rivermen, the Blues' American Hockey League affiliate. Backes is expected to make his NHL debut tonight in Pittsburgh.

Backes, 22, is in his first full professional season with Peoria, playing in 27 games, registering 11 points (nine goals, two assists) along with 34 penalty minutes. The 6-2, 200-pound forward skated in three games for the Blues during the preseason, posting two penalty minutes.

Backes, a native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, was originally the Blues second round selection, 62nd overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

On Friday, December 22, the Rivermen host the Grand Rapids Griffins at 7:30 p.m. It is a Coca-Cola/Insight Date Night. Fans may receive two (2) Upper Bowl tickets, two (2) Cokes and a tub of popcorn for just $25. The team will also commemorate the 1990-91 Rivermen International Hockey League (IHL) Turner Cup Championship and the still-world-record, 18-game professional winning streak by wearing replica 1990-91 replica jerseys, which will be auctioned off after the game to benefit the Children's Hospital of Illinois. U.S. Cellular's 25 Greatest Rivermen of All-Time continues with Steve Tuttle cards to the first 2,500 fans.
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Moose Release Gajic from PTO

The Manitoba Moose, the AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks, announced they have released forward Milan Gajic from his professional tryout contract.

Gajic, 25, appeared in five games after signing his professional tryout contract on Dec. 5/06. In that time, the Burnaby, BC native scored two goals and three assists for five points. 16 games with the Victoria Salmon Kings of the ECHL so far this season, Gajic has scored six goals and 13 assisst for 19 points and 24 penalty minutes. He's now played in 22 games in the AHL with Providence and Manitoba where he's got two goals and four assists for six points. In 57 career games in the ECHL, Gajic has scored 31 goals and 46 assists for 77 points and 38 penalty minutes.

Gajic was originally selected in the fourth round, 112th overall, by the Calgary Flames in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.
Keane Named Playing Captain of Canadian All-Stars for 2007 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Ga

Keane Named Playing Captain of Canadian All-Stars for 2007 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Game
12/20/06 - American Hockey League (AHL) Manitoba Moose

Manitoba Moose
The Manitoba Moose, in conjunction with the American Hockey League, are pleased to announce Mike Keane has been named playing captain of the Canadian All-Star Team for the 2007 Rbk Hockey American Hockey League All-Star Classic to be held at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, ON from January 28th-29th, 2007.

Captains for the American Hockey League All-Star teams are selected by the league in recognition of their outstanding service and leadership to the AHL. Just last season, former Moose Jimmy Roy was selected as captain of the Canadian AHL All-Stars and Roy responded with a goal. Former Moose captain Brian Chapman also received a similar honor back in 2003.

Keane, 39, is in his second season as captain of the Moose. So, far, the Winnipeg, MB native has appeared in 31 games where he's scored four goals and six assists for 10 points and 34 penalty minutes. Just this past Dec. 3/06, Keane appeared in his 1,400th game as a pro against the Philadelphia Phantoms. Last year, in his first season with this hometown Moose, Keane scored three goals and 14 points in 69 games. He was named co-winner of the team's Julian Klymkiw Award for community service.

In his 19-year pro career, Keane has won three Stanley Cups (Montreal '93, Colorado '96, Dallas '99) and played in 1,230 NHL games where he's scored 171 goals and 484 points as well as 947 penalty minutes. He has seen action in 178 career AHL games where he's scored 32 goals and 92 points and collected 170 penalty minutes. Prior to joining the Moose last season, Keane last appeared in the American Hockey League with the Sherbrooke Canadiens back in the 1987-88 season. He made his professional debut with the Canadiens in 1987 and helped them advance to the Calder Cup Final.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
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Kip Miller Named Captain for 2007 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The American Hockey League on Wednesday announced that Grand Rapids Griffins center Kip Miller and Manitoba Moose right wing Mike Keane will serve as playing captains for the 2007 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic in Toronto next month.

Captains for the AHL All-Star teams are selected by the league in recognition of their outstanding service and leadership to the AHL. Miller will captain the PlanetUSA AHL All-Star Team, while Keane will lead the Canadian AHL All-Stars.

Miller, 37, becomes the second Griffin in four seasons chosen to captain the PlanetUSA squad, following former defenseman Travis Richards' selection for the 2004 event in Grand Rapids. In his fourth season with the Griffins, the 17-year veteran leads the team with 10 goals (tied), 21 assists, 31 points and five power play goals, and he is tied for 12th in the AHL scoring race.

Grand Rapids' career leader with a 1.08 points-per-game average, Miller also ranks among the club's all-time best with 60 goals (8th), 107 assists (5th), 167 points (5th), 21 power play goals (6th) and five shorthanded goals (T4th) in 155 games. The Lansing, Mich., native shows 1,104 points (398-706-1104) in 1,195 professional games, including 239 points (74-165-239) in 449 NHL contests.

Miller will make his first AHL All-Star Classic appearance. He was voted to the starting lineup in 2002 as a member of the Griffins after scoring 56 points (21-35-56) in just 41 games but missed the event after signing with the New York Islanders in mid-season. Miller was chosen MVP of the 1998 IHL All-Star Game after notching three goals, including two in an All-Star record span of 18 seconds during the first period.

Of the 394 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since 1995, more than 92 percent have competed in the National Hockey League, including Patrice Bergeron, Brad Boyes, Daniel Briere, Jonathan Cheechoo, Pavol Demitra, Rick DiPietro, Patrik Elias, Ray Emery, Miikka Kiprusoff, Kari Lehtonen, Ryan Miller, Dwayne Roloson, Marc Savard, Martin St. Louis, Jason Spezza, Eric Staal, Steve Sullivan and Kyle Wellwood.

The 2007 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic will take place at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, home of the AHL's Marlies. The event features the 2007 CCM AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday, Jan. 28 (7 p.m.) and the 2007 AHL All-Star Game on Monday, Jan. 29 (7 p.m.), and will be televised live on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada and on a network of regional broadcast partners in the United States.
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