Defenseman Andre Benoit and center Pat Cannone have been selected to represent the Chicago Wolves at the 2016 AHL All-Star Classic. They will suit up for the Central Division and the Western Conference during the event on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 in Syracuse, N.Y.
This marks the second AHL All-Star Game nod for the 32-year-old Benoit, who was named to the 2013 Eastern Conference team but had to withdraw when he joined the Ottawa Senators (NHL) shortly thereafter. The St. Albert, Ontario, native leads the Wolves in assists (20) and points (23) and is one of just four Wolves who has appeared in all 32 games this season.
This serves as the first AHL All-Star Game appearance for the 29-year-old Cannone. The Wolves captain ranks second on the squad with 22 points (8 goals, 14 assists) while leading the team and sharing 15th among all AHL players in plus/minus rating at +13. The Bayport, N.Y., native also reeled off a career-best 10-game point streak to start the season, which ranks as the AHL’s second-longest streak in 2015-16.
The 2016 AHL All-Star Challenge on Monday, Feb. 1, features a new four-team format as the 52 All-Stars have been split up to represent the Central, Pacific, Atlantic and North Divisions. Each team will play three nine-minute games during the round-robin tournament as the first half of each game will be played 4-on-4 with the second half at 3-on-3. At the end of the round-robin, the top two teams will play a six-minute game for the championship.
The All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday, Jan. 31, maintains its traditional format as Benoit and Cannone will represent the Western Conference against the Eastern Conference in seven skills events.
The Wolves hit the road to face the Texas Stars at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday. The team returns to Allstate Arena at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 15, to play the Iowa Wild and Saturday, Jan. 16, to face the Lake Erie Monsters. To find the best ticket specials, call 1-800-THE-WOLVES or visit ChicagoWolves.com.