NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL is going with a pair of coaches from the Western Conference for the All-Star Game in Columbus, picking Peter Laviolette of the Nashville Predators and Darryl Sutter of the Los Angeles Kings.
The league made the announcement on Friday.
Laviolette was chosen because the Predators have the NHL's highest points percentage at .725, and Nashville will still hold that position going into the halfway point of the season on Saturday. The Predators are 27-9-4 in Laviolette's first season, and this will be the first time the Nashville coaching staff has worked the All-Star game for the former expansion franchise.
''We're excited,'' Laviolette said after practice Friday. ''I haven't been there for a long time. Just no stress as far as coaching goes, it's no stress and just a lot of fun. Two words, two sentences that don't typically go together. When a coach, either side, gets appointed to an All-Star game, it's a true reflection of your team.''
This will be Laviolette's second career All-Star appearance after sharing coaching duties with Vancouver's Alain Vigneault in 2011 coaching Team Nicklas Lidstrom to an 11-10 win over Team Eric Staal in Raleigh.
Sutter guided the Kings to the Stanley Cup championship last season. He will be making his All-Star coaching debut.
The All-Star game is Jan. 25.