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Blashill, Marchenko picked for AHL Classic

Rookie D-man still up with the Red Wings, though next expected to play in San Jose

Thursday, 01.9.2014 / 3:51 PM ET / Press Release
Grand Rapids Griffins
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Blashill, Marchenko picked for AHL Classic
Rookie Alexey Marchenko made his NHL debut last Saturday with the Red Wings. On Thursday, the Russian defenseman learned that he's been selected to play on an AHL All-Star team against Färjestad next month. (Photo by Getty Images)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The American Hockey League announced on Thursday that Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill and defenseman Alexey Marchenko have been selected to participate in the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic, which will be held Feb. 11-12 at the Mile One Center in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

The AHL All-Star team, a 20-man squad consisting of the league’s top contributors, will battle Färjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League in a two-day competition. The 2014 All-Star Classic will mark the first time that a Swedish Hockey League team has competed in North America.

Blashill, 40, will be the first Griffins head coach in 12 years to lead an AHL All-Star team, following Bruce Cassidy’s participation in the 2002 AHL All-Star Classic. Blashill will be joined by Rob Zettler, head coach of the Syracuse Crunch, whom the Griffins defeated in the 2013 Calder Cup Finals. In 2012-13, his first season as a head coach at the pro level, Blashill led the Griffins to the Calder Cup, marking the first championship in the franchise’s 17-year history. Blashill was named by the Detroit Red Wings as the ninth head coach in Grand Rapids Griffins history on June 25, 2012.

Marchenko, 22, is just the third rookie defenseman in Griffins' history to be named to the AHL All-Star Team, following in the recent footsteps of Chad Billins (2013), also a member of the 2014 AHL All-Star team representing Abbotsford, and Brendan Smith (2011). The Moscow, Russia, native has had a storybook inaugural season with the Griffins, tallying 16 points (2-14—16), a plus-15 rating - which ties for second among league rookies - and six penalty minutes through 33 games. On Jan. 4, Marchenko finished with a plus-two rating in his NHL debut with the Detroit Red Wings, becoming the 140th Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL.

Both the 2014 AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Tuesday, Feb. 11 and the 2014 AHL All-Star Game on Wednesday, Feb. 12 will be televised live nationally in the United States and Canada.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80