Texas Stars Head Coach Neil Graham to Coach Central at AHL All-Star Classic

(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)

Texas Stars head coach Neil Graham will serve as the coach for the Central Division All-Stars at the 2023 All-Star Game in Laval, Quebec. Texas holds the best record in the division as of today, earning Graham the nod as head coach. It is his first trip to the AHL All-Star Game.

As we've documented here, the Stars are red hot. Their eleven-game point streak, which include ten wins, has vaulted them to the top of the standings and made them a legitimate contender in the Calder Cup race as the new year begins.

This feels like this first year that Graham has had the opportunity to truly do all the things that he needs to do as a head coach after all of the chaos of a coaching transition in 2019, COVID protocols and limited training camps in 2020 and 2021. The results speak for themselves.

The All-Star Game will take place on February 6 in Laval. In the last two years with All-Star roster announcements (2019 and 2020), player rosters were announced on January 3.

Here's the release:

The American Hockey League announced today the four coaches for the 2023 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Bell in collaboration with Manulife Bank, to be held February 5-6 in Laval, Que. By virtue of the Texas Stars leading their division by today’s deadline, Stars Head Coach Neil Graham was named the coach of the Central Division’s All-Stars.

The three other coaches who are leading their respective divisions by the pre-determined deadline are Hershey’s Todd Nelson, Toronto’s Greg Moore and Calgary’s Mitch Love, the league announced today.

Graham, 37, has the Stars at the top of the Central Division, riding an active 10-game point streak to a 19-7-3-2 record and 43 points in the standings. The Calgary, Alberta native is in his fourth season as Head Coach after taking over on Dec. 10, 2019 when Derek Laxdal was promoted to Dallas.

Texas finished December with a 10-0-1 record during the month, which including a 53-21 goal differential during that span. The Stars start a new year in first place in their division for the first time since Jan. 1, 2010. Graham also led the Stars to the 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2018, as Texas won its last four games to qualify.

The AHL’s All-Stars will be divided into four teams, one representing each of the league’s four divisions, for the 2023 Mise-o-jeu AHL All-Star Challenge on Monday, Feb. 6. The teams will participate in a round-robin 3-on-3 tournament featuring six games of 10 minutes each. The two teams with the best records at the end of the round-robin will face off for the championship, a six-minute game also played at 3-on-3.

The 2023 Rona AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday, Feb. 5, will pit the All-Stars from the two Eastern Conference divisions against those from the two Western Conference divisions in seven skills events.