Atlantic City’s venerable Boardwalk Hall will play host to the 2012 American Hockey League All-Star Classic from January 29-30, but the Adirondack Phantoms are not well represented.
Taking a starting role for the Eastern Conference squad will be goaltender Michael Leighton, who was selected alongside Tyson Sexsmith of the Worcester Sharks and Jeff Zatkoff from the Manchester Monarchs.
Leighton, only 30, is completely deserving if for nothing else than his professionalism during three seasons of constant upheaval. This year, he’s gone 11-11-0 with a 2.44 goals-against average and one shutout as ADK has risen from DFL in the East to second place in the Northeast Division.
Despite this lack of players from the purple and orange, it’s not hard to imagine what could have been if the Flyers had not undergone a radical roster re-shaping.
Brayden Schenn was tearing up the league before his call-up to the Flyers, then broken foot and concussion recoveries derailed his half-season. His 12 points in seven early AHL games translates to 68 over a full 40-game slate.
Harry Zolnierczyk totaled five goals and nine points in 10 games at Glens Falls but figures to be a fixture in The Show until his play suffers enough for Peter Laviolette to remove him from the lineup.
And how about that Eric Wellwood, he of the 14 points in 16 games? And for good measure, some consideration for Oskars Bartulis, just because? We could use some purple and white colors flying among the red, white and blue of the USA and red and white from Canada.
Here’s the official release from the league with full rosters and info.