Stars News

Brent Krahn first Texas Stars’ All-Star
CEDAR PARK, Texas - Goaltender Brent Krahn and defensman Ivan Vishnevskiy became the first two players in the short history of the Texas Stars to be selected to participate in the AHL All-Star game. The game will be hosted by the Portland Pirates and played in Portland, Maine.

The 2010 Time Warner Cable AHL All-Star Classic will feature the top talent in the American Hockey League competing in the All-Star Skills Competition on Monday, January 18 (8:00 p.m. ET) and the All-Star Game on Tuesday, January 19 (6:00 p.m. ET). The game will be televised live nationally in the United States and Canada.

Krahn became the first player in team history to be named to the mid-season classic. The 27-year old Winnipeg, Manitoba native earned the first all-star nomination of his career.

"It's exciting," Krahn said. "You always like to be recognized. I've been able to play well and the team has played well, too. It's an honor."

Krahn made his NHL debut with the Dallas Stars last season, appearing in one contest. Due to an unfortunate injury, he has not played since a 3-1 loss in Chicago on Nov. 22. He doesn't think he'll be able to play or attend the AHL's marquee event.

"(Jan 19th) is cutting it close," Krahn said. "I doubt I'll be able to play. I haven't thought about (going). I'll cross that bridge when I get there. I think I'd much rather stay back and get myself healthy and get back, so I can play for the Texas Stars."

Krahn was selected to play for the Canadian All-Star team, which is comprised of 24 native-born players – 13 forwards, eight defensemen and three goaltenders. AHL fans determined the starting lineup, while a committee of AHL coaches selected the remainder of the roster.

Vishnevskiy was selected to play for the PlanetUSA team, which will consist of players not born in Canada. This is his first professional all-star game, although he was selected to a junior all-star team.

The 21-year old Barnaul, Russia native also played in the NHL for Dallas this season, going scoreless in two games with the parent club. Vishnevskiy was Dallas' first round selection (27th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He is in his second pro season after playing the bulk of his rookie year in Peoria. In 67 games for the Rivermen, the 6-foot, 180-pound defenseman dished out 13 assists and totaled 19 points. Vishnevskiy also made his NHL debut in 2008-09, suiting up three times for Dallas and assisting on two goals. He recorded his first NHL point in just his second NHL game.

"I'm pretty excited." Vishnevskiy said. "It's a great opportunity. You get to play against all the good players that deserve to be there. You go up there and just enjoy it and have fun."
Stars' Head Coach Glen Gulutzan coached three ECHL All-Star games and gave his perspective on what's in store for those participating in the game.

"It's always an honor for these guys," Gulutzan said. "They'll enjoy the experience and exposure. They could have got a lot of guys from this team. Krahn was an obvious pick and Visnevskiy fits the mold of what they are looking for; A good young prospect who's having a pretty decent year."

Before Krahn's injury, the Stars looked like they were going to run away with the Western Conference's West Division. Since that time, they've gone 5-7-0-2, while watching their division lead shrink to just four points. This is not Krahn's first injury, and he has learned to deal with the frustration of not playing.

"I'm an expert by now (in frustration)," Krahn said. "It's something you have to learn to get through. You never like having setbacks or having your progress slowed down. You have to realize there's nothing you can do about it now. No point in dwelling on the negative. You just have to work to get back and get yourself in shape."

"Sometimes you can come back too soon," Krahn added. "You just have to be patient and listen to your body. I've got my wife and two kids here to keep me entertained and take good care of me whle I'm injured. It's frustrating not playing, but I know if I take care of myself properly, I'll come back and put this behind me."

In his 12 appearances with Texas this season, Krahn posted a record of 10-2-0 with three shutouts, a 1.41 goals-against average and a .958 save percentage, by far the best of his professional career. He was named the AHL Reebok Goalie of the Month for November. His success can be attributed to a combination of adopting a different approach to the game, the makeup of the team and the competition with fellow goaltender, Matt Climie.

"It's a combination of everything," Krahn said. "In earlier years I always had a time table on things. I always thought that if I wasn't at this point at this time in my career that I'd failed or I wasn't succeeding. I really put a lot of pressure on myself. The team's been really good. The defense we have with all their experience and our focus on defense first has been really good."

"The Dallas Stars have been absolutely amazing to me," Krahn added. "They've been really patient. My last knee surgery really changed my perspective. I'm just out there now having fun and contolling what I can control and enjoying the game. In years past, I don't think I've allowed myself to enjoy it as much. I put extra pressure on myself. When I struggled in the past, I really beat myself up. Now I just focus on the next shot. If I give up a bad goal or (there's) a good play by the other team or a bad bounce, it's in the net. So I don't worry about it too much and just enjoy the game."

Krahn also credits the coaching staff with his success and the overall success of the team

"I've worked with (Head Coach) Glen Gulutzan before in the East Coast League and played against (Assistant Coach) Paul (Gerrard), Krahn said. "The whole team talks favorably about the coaches. They are steering the team in the right direction."

This isn't Krahn's first expansion team, but the Texas Stars appear to be light years ahead of where most expansion teams are at this point in their first year.

"I've played on expansion teams before that have struggled out of the gate," Krahn said. "It's been really healthy for our organization to start really well and the support (of the community) and the fans has been really good."
Posted on 01/09/10

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