As we prepare for tonight’s contest between the Calgary Flames and the St. Louis Blues, some good news has been announced. Two Abbotsford Heat players – who both spent time up with the Flames this year – will represent the American Hockey League in this year’s AHL All-Star Classic. Ben Street and Chad Billins will join the AHL squad as they play Finland’s Farjestads BK club on February 12 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Yes, that’s Hakan Loob’s team.
Street, 26, has 32 points in 29 AHL games (along with 1 assist in 8 NHL games) this season with the Heat. He leads the team in scoring and sits 6th in AHL scoring overall. Billins, 24, has 26 points in 33 AHL games (along with 2 assists in 2 NHL games), sitting 4th among AHL defenders. By sheer coincidence, both players played four years in the NCAA, turned pro and signed AHL deals, then signed their first NHL contracts with the Flames organization.
The AHL All-Star Classic will helpfully take place during the NHL’s Olympic break and will be available to watch on Sportsnet. The Skills Competition on February 11 takes place the day before the men’s hockey tournament begins, while the All-Star Classic game takes place after the first two tournament games (Sweden/Czech Republic and Latvia/Switzerland).