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Peters honored to guide Pacific Division in All-Star Game

Flames coach will be joined by Reirden, Cooper, Maurice on Jan. 26 in San Jose @NHLdotcom

Bill Peters was the model of humility after the Calgary Flames coach was named coach of the Pacific Division on Saturday for the 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Game at SAP Center in San Jose on Jan. 26 (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

"It's a great honor," Peters told the Flames website. "Credit to our players and our staff and our organization to allow me to go and represent the Flames."


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Peters, hired by the Flames on April 23, 2018, after coaching the Carolina Hurricanes for four seasons, was selected to coach in the 3-on-3 tournament because Calgary was assured of having the highest points percentage in its division through Saturday, the midway point of the regular season.

The Flames entered Saturday at 25-13-4, tied with the Vegas Golden Knights (25-15-4) for first place in the Pacific with 54 points, but Calgary's points percentage (.643) was higher than Vegas' (.614).(Calgary won 3-2 at the Philadelphia Flyers in overtime Saturday.)

Peters will be joined in San Jose by Todd Reirden of the Washington Capitals (Metropolitan Division), Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning (Atlantic Division) and Paul Maurice of the Winnipeg Jets (Central Division).

"I think we're just tapping shoulders and letting them go and enjoying it and having fun and putting on a great show for the fans," Peters said.

The Flames are leading the Western Conference with 153 goals, and only the Lightning have scored more (176) in the NHL. Calgary also has a plus-30 goal differential, best in its conference.

"It's been a good first half, it's been a lot of fun," said Peters, who has a record of 163-151-57 in five NHL seasons. "We're happy where we are at halfway through the season, but we know there's lots of work to be done and lots of room for improvement in our group. And our group works hard and it will reach its potential."

Cooper has a record of 275-151-42 in seven NHL seasons, all with the Lightning.

"It's gratifying to be a part of this weekend, for the simple fact that it's really been the play of your team that's put me in that situation," Cooper said. "And so it makes you feel good inside. Your boys are playing well, and that's the big part of it.

"On my side of things, I love to be around players from other teams and coaches from other teams and sit down in a less stressful environment and talk about games, your families and get to meet the other stars in the League. You don't really get to meet those guys. For example, like (Boston Bruins forward) Brad Marchand. We battled with him in the (Stanley Cup) Playoffs last year, but he couldn't have been a kinder human being to my son, who was at the game, and always sat with him on the bench and paid attention to him. You get to see the human side to these guys, aside from everybody beating each other up on the ice. That's what I love about the game."

Maurice was an assistant for the Eastern Conference at the 1997 NHL All-Star Game, which was also played in San Jose, and is 673-602-113 with 99 ties in 21 NHL seasons with the Hartford Whalers, Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs and Jets.

"It was 22 years ago, my last All-Star appearance. The game's changed an awful lot since then," Maurice said. "I think we won 11-7, a defensive grinder, and the front row of that team picture has [Wayne] Gretzky, [Mark] Messier and [Mario] Lemieux in it. So, that's how much has changed."

Reirden is 24-12-4 in his first season as an NHL coach. staff writer Tim Campbell and correspondent Eric Gilmore contributed to this report

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