NHL stars of tomorrow visit A.C.

NHL stars of tomorrow visit A.C.
January 27, 2012, 5:25 pm
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Watch the AHL All-Star Game today at 7 p.m. on CSN.

They are todays stars of tomorrow, performing on the same stage once occupied by NHL stars such as Marty St. Louis, Zdeno Chara, Eric Staal, Patrice Bergeron, Bobby Ryan and Tomas Vokoun.

The current stars of the American Hockey League converge on the wind-swept Boardwalk in Atlantic City, N.J., for tonight's AHL All-Star Game at historic Boardwalk Hall.

The game can be seen on CSN at 7, called by the Capitals award-winning broadcast team of Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin.

But theirs wont be the only familiar faces for Caps fans.

The entire top line of the Hershey Bears -- Keith Aucoin, Chris Bourque and Boyd Kane has been selected to represent the Eastern Conference.

Kane recently told the Harrisburg Patriot-News: You cant play with two players that are much better in this league, so for me its pretty awesome."

Bourque, the 25-year-old son of Hockey Hall of Famer Ray Bourque, will be playing in his second AHL All-Star Classic and is looking forward to rubbing elbows with some of his most bitter on-ice rivals.

Its going to be nice to be playing with guys that you kind of go against every weekend and every game, Bourque said. It will be nice to get to know those guys and see what kind of guys youve been playing against all year.

Aucoin and Bourque are in a chase for the AHL scoring title. Aucoin, a 33-year-old native of Waltham, Mass., lead the league in assists (59) and points (70) heading into the weekend. Bourque, who was born in Boston, ranks second in goals (21) and second in points (64).

The AHL Classic, which was played at Hersheys Giant Center last year, has returned to an Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference format. In years past, All-Stars from Canada would face off against All-Stars from Europe and the United States.

Kane, 33, will be making his AHL All-Star Classic debut. The Swift Current native has 13 goals and seven assists this season and is a plus-12.

Im really looking forward to this week, too, first time going into an all-star game, Kane said. Its going to be lots of fun, and its going to be even better to be able to go with Bourque and Coiner there, too.

There have been multiple reports that the Bears and Admirals will play each other at the Verizon Center with a tentative date set for Dec. 6.

Bears general manager Doug Yingst told the Harrisburg Patriot-News that plans for the game have not been finalized but that it could be part of the negotiations to keep the Bears as the Capitals AHL affiliate. The agreement between the two clubs is set to expire after this season.

Were still in negotiations to increase the affiliation, Yingst told the Patriot-News. This is part of it.