As we applaud Jack Eichel's selection for the 2024 All-Star Game and cross our fingers with fleeting hopes that he might be joined by Adin Hill or Mark Stone, we can't forget that other All-Star exhibitions are going on as well. And no, I'm not talking about the NBA All-Star Game or even the NFL Pro Bowl (go Maxx Crosby and AJ Cole!).
In case you missed it, team captain Adam Cracknell has been chosen to represent the Henderson Silver Knights at the AHL All-Star Game, where he will serve as captain of the Pacific Division.
The 17-14-1-3 Silver Knights are currently without leading scorer Grigori Denisenko on account of his NHL call-up, so Cracknell was the obvious choice. Vegas Golden Knights fans may prefer seeing All-Star honors bestowed upon a player with more youth and potential, but Cracknell is an incredible story.
The veteran journeyman is now 38 years of age, the oldest player plying his trade in the AHL and the oldest player in the entire Golden Knights' system (yes, including anyone on Vegas). Dating back to 2017, he has played for 12 different teams over four different leagues, spanning the NHL, AHL, KHL and Denmark hockey league. In fact, the AHL mid-season exhibition happens to take place exactly five years to the day of Cracknell's last NHL game.
This season, Cracknell has a team-high 13 goals to go along with 23 points in 30 games. Though not his best season, the selection serves as something of a career recognition. On top of 210 career NHL games, he has suited up for 726 AHL contests in his career. To put that in perspective, the Golden Knights franchise is just shy of 500 games played in its history.
Cracknell's Henderson connection comes from being a former teammate of Silver Knight head coach Ryan Craig. He was brought in to offer leadership and experience to a young group. The All-Star nod is just a bonus.