Reign head coach Mike Stothers will represent the Pacific Division at this year’s revamped AHL All-Star Challenge to take place on Feb. 1 in Syracuse, N.Y.
Stothers, 53, has guided the Reign to a 17-6-2-1 record this season in his second year with the Kings’ AHL affiliate. Stothers, who won the Louis A.R. Pieri Award as AHL coach of the year last season, led the Manchester Monarchs in their final AHL season to their first Calder Cup championship last year. This is his second consecutive appearance coaching in the AHL All-Star weekend.
In a bit of twist to this year’s format, the AHL All-Stars will divided by division and will play a round-robin tournament. According to the AHL press release, “Instead of a traditional 60-minute game, the teams will play a round-robin tournament featuring six games of nine minutes each; the first half of each game will be played at 4-on-4, and the second half at 3-on-3. The two teams with the best records at the end of the round-robin tournament will face off for the championship, a six-minute game played at 3-on-3.”
Representing the other three AHL divisions will be Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Jay Leach (Atlantic), Toronto’s Sheldon Keefe (North) and Milwaukee’s Dean Evason (Central). All coaches earned the right to represent their division as their team had the lead in their respective division at the end of 2015.
Player rosters will be announced later this week. In addition to the All-Star Classic, there will be an East vs. West skills competition held on Jan. 31.