Lundin offers 'passenger' lift; Cup will be on display in city.
WORCESTER Barack Obama isnt the only person finding out that there are advantages to being president.
Rich Lundin, president of the Worcester Sharks Booster Club, is driving into Logan Airport today to make a pickup. His passenger on the trip from Boston to Worcester?
The Stanley Cup.
Lundin and the Booster Club were on shuttle duty the last couple of days, bringing players into the city for the All-Star Classic, and when he heard yesterday that a van was needed for a trip into Logan to get the Cup, Lundin said, Will it fit in a Dodge Durango?
It does, and so Lundin and fiancee Josie Brown are making the drive into Boston to meet the Air Canada flight that has the Cup on it. It will be on display today in the Atrium of St. Vincent Hospital. Lundin declined to say if the Cup, or his fiancee, will ride in front with him.
PlanetUSA has skills
PlanetUSA won the Skills Competition, 18-12.
Jared Ross of the Philadelphia Phantoms won the fastest skater event, Sharks defenseman Derek Joslin had the hardest shot, and Cory Schneider of the Manitoba Moose was the top goaltender.
Helmer back in Worcester
Bryan Helmer, a former IceCats captain, was back in the city for the second time this season. Helmer is with Hershey these days. The Bears played the Sharks at the DCU Center at the beginning of this month.
This is Helmers 16th season as a pro, and his first AHL All-Star Classic appearance.
I dont know why. Thats just how things happen some times, Helmer said, trying to figure out why it took so long. Now, I think, theyre not sure how much longer Ill be around, so they figured theyd better do it before I was gone.
Helmer is 36 but has no immediate plans to retire. He said hell play in North America for as long as he can, and is willing to go to Europe to extend his career if that winds up being the case.
He has played for 13 different pro teams in his career including four in the NHL the Coyotes, Blues, Canucks and he was called up again this season to play for the Capitals. Helmer skated for Las Vegas and Kansas City in the defunct International Hockey League and his AHL teams have included Albany, the IceCats, Manitoba, Springfield, Grand Rapids, San Antonio and Hershey.
Vintage equipment on display
The MeiGray Group, which sells game-worn hockey jerseys, had a beautiful display of vintage equipment in the DCU Center concourse. There was some new stuff, such as Sharks forward Matt Fornataros jersey from last weeks ECHL All-Star Game.
Perhaps the best of the vintage jerseys was a Bruins home jersey, worn by Wayne Connelly in 1961-62. There was also a Whalers WHA jersey, a 1984-85 jersey from the New Haven Nighthawks of the AHL and AHL jerseys from other defunct teams like the Richmond Robins, Quebec Aces and the Providence Reds.
The Reds jersey was Number 11, worn by Joe Szura in 1969-70.
No weather issues
The Sharks were a little concerned that bad weather could affect players and coaches who had to fly into New England to make the All-Star Classic, since they had to fly into either Boston or Providence.
Perfect flying weather negated those concerns.
Barry Brust and Corey Locke, who play for the Houston Aeros, and Jonas Junland of the Peoria Rivermen had the longest trips. Those two teams played in Houston on Saturday night. Most of the AHL games on Saturday night were within driving distance of Worcester the Hershey Bears, for instance, came via team bus.
Downie a scratch
Steve Downie, who raised a ruckus both times Norfolk played at the DCU Center earlier this season, was picked to the Canadian team, but was a scratch. He was recalled by the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are playing tomorrow night and wanted Downie to practice with them today.
Too bad in a way, since Downie might have brought an edge to the proceedings that All-Star events usually lack.
CUTLINE: Worcester Academy's Zachary Luczyk competes in the future stars event yesterday.
PHOTOG: T&G Staff/JIM COLLINS