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Wings' Babcock, Sens' Paddock will be head coaches in 2008 NHL All-Star Game

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Assistants to be determined this week

Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock will man the Western Conference bench later this month at the All-Star Game.
NEW YORK -- Head coaches Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings and John Paddock of the Ottawa Senators will lead the Western and Eastern Conference All-Star Teams, respectively, at the 2008 NHL All-Star Game, Sunday, Jan. 27 at Philips Arena in Atlanta (6 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC, RDS, NHL Radio).

Under the selection process for All-Star coaches, the head coach and assistant coach for the Western Conference All-Stars are the head coaches of the two teams with the top points percentages in the Western Conference through games of Friday, Jan. 4, the halfway point of the 2007-08 regular season. The head coach and assistant coach of the Eastern Conference All-Stars are the head coaches of the two teams with the best points percentages in the Eastern Conference.

Babcock's Red Wings lead the Western Conference with a points percentage of .763, posting 61 points in 40 games (29-8-3) entering Wednesday's play, and are assured of having the Conference's top points percentage through Friday. Paddock's Senators lead the Eastern Conference with a points percentage of .692, posting 54 points in 39 games (25-10-4), and are guaranteed of topping their Conference.

San Jose Sharks head coach Ron Wilson (22-12-5, .628), holds a slight lead over the Dallas Stars' Dave Tippett (23-13-4, .625) for the All-Star Game assistant coach position in the Western Conference. Tippett, however, can clinch the All-Star coaching berth if the Stars win their games at Detroit tonight and at Minnesota Thursday. The Stars earning fewer than maximum points would open the door for Wilson, whose Sharks host Calgary Thursday.

Brent Sutter, in his first season as the New Jersey Devils' head coach, brings a 21-14-3 (.592) record into Wednesday night's game against Florida and is the leading contender to join Paddock behind the Eastern Conference bench. Also in the crowded Eastern Conference field: the Montreal Canadiens' Guy Carbonneau (19-13-7, .577), the Philadelphia Flyers' John Stevens (19-14-4, .568) and the New York Rangers' Tom Renney (20-15-4, .564).

The 2008 NHL All-Star Weekend in Atlanta will feature live national broadcasts of the Dodge/NHL SuperSkills event on Saturday, Jan. 26 and the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 27 on VERSUS in the United States and CBC and RDS in Canada. NASN and other international broadcasters will provide live coverage of both the Dodge/NHL SuperSkills event and the NHL All-Star Game to more than 115 countries and territories in Europe. NHL RADIO on Westwood One will provide exclusive national radio coverage which can be heard on stations around the United States and Canada as well as on XM Satellite Radio's NHL Home Ice and NHL.com.

The starting lineups for the 2008 NHL All-Star Game, as selected by fans in XM/NHL All-Star Fan Balloting, Presented by 2K Sports, will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 8.


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