Bobby Walls selected for All-Star Staff
– The ECHL on Thursday announced the equipment managers and athletic trainers for the 2010 ECHL All-Star Game and All-Star Skills Competition presented by Reebok Hockey and brought to you by Toyota and the City of Ontario.
The host athletic trainer and equipment manager will be Bobby Walls of the Ontario Reign while the equipment managers are Mike Burkhead of the Alaska Aces for the National Conference and John Williams of the South Carolina Stingrays for the American Conference while the athletic trainers are Mike Plandowski of the Utah Grizzlies for the National Conference and Bob Case of the Cincinnati Cyclones for the American Conference.
The 2010 ECHL All-Star Game presented by Reebok Hockey and brought to you by Toyota and the City of Ontario will be hosted by the Ontario Reign at the Citizens Business Bank Arena and played on Jan. 20, 2010 while the 2010 ECHL All-Star Skills Competition will be held on Jan. 19, 2010.
Walls is in his second season with the Reign after serving in a similar capacity for Long Beach of the ECHL. He worked for the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League as rehabilitation trainer and most recently as an assistant athletic trainer for the University of Southern California men’s basketball team. Certified with the National Athletic Trainers Association and a certified Emergency Medical Technician, Walls received his bachelor’s degree in physical education with an emphasis on athletic training and a minor in biology from California State University Dominguez Hills. He was the head student trainer at Cerritos College from 1996-99 and was the head trainer at North Torrance High School from 1998-2002.
Plandowski is in his third season as the head athletic trainer for Utah and his 10th season working in professional hockey. The native of Buffalo, N.Y. was awarded his master’s degree in kinesiology/biomechanics from the University of Kentucky and his degree in sports medicine/athletic training from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. Burkhead is in his second season as the equipment manager for Alaska after working in the ECHL with Columbia and in the American Hockey League for Bridgeport.
It is the second ECHL All-Star Game appearance for Case, who worked the 2004 ECHL All-Star Game in Peoria, Ill. In his 10th season as an athletic trainer in professional hockey and his fifth with the Cyclones, Case has been a part of four championship teams including the Kelly Cup in 2008 with Cincinnati. The native of Park Hills, Ky. was awarded his master’s degree in physical education from Morehead State University and his bachelor’s degree in physical education and athletic training from Eastern Kentucky University. He has also worked three years as an athletic trainer at Methodist College and for three seasons with indoor professional football. Williams is in his fourth season as equipment manager for the Stingrays following eight seasons as assistant equipment manager.
Former ECHL athletic trainers working in the NHL include Chris Stewart and Scott Adams with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Myles Hirayama with the Los Angeles Kings, Dave Zeis with the Dallas Stars and Andy Hosler with the Nashville Predators. Former ECHL equipment managers who are working in the NHL are Scott Allegrino, Rick Bronwell, Jeff Camelio, Dana Heinze, and Russ Holden, who worked the ECHL All-Star Game in 2005.
Seven coaches from the ECHL All-Star Game have gone on to coach in the National Hockey League while 58 players from the contest have gone on to play in the NHL, including 33 since 2002 when the lineups began having players who coaches felt were prospects to move up to a higher level.
The third class will be inducted into the the ECHL Hall of Fame on Jan. 20, 2010 during a luncheon ceremony at the Hilton Ontario Airport, the official host hotel of the 2010 ECHL All-Star Game presented by Reebok Hockey and brought to you by Toyota and the City of Ontario. The featured speaker at the ECHL Hall of Fame luncheon will be Hockey Hall of Fame member and Los Angeles Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille.
Tickets for the luncheon are $40 each or a table with seven tickets can be purchased for $250. The Ontario Reign is offering a special ticket package that includes a ticket to the ECHL Hall of Fame luncheon, the All-Star Skills Competition, the Fan Fest at Dave & Busters and the ECHL All-Star Game for only $75. To purchase tickets visit OntarioReign.com/team/allstar/ or telephone the Ontario Reign at (909) 941-7825.
The past seven ECHL All-Star Games have generated more than $1 million each for the local economy as guests, players, coaches and fans occupy hundreds of hotel rooms and spend three days in the host city.
The Stanley Cup and the Patrick J. Kelly Cup will both be on display throughout the event, marking the 10th time in the last 11 years that the NHL championship trophy and the ECHL championship trophy have been displayed together at the All-Star Game.
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