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Capitals’ Todd Reirden to coach in All-Star Game for second straight year

Todd Reirden will be coaching in the All-Star Game for the second consecutive year. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

RALEIGH, N.C. — Washington Capitals Coach Todd Reirden was announced Friday as the head coach of the Metropolitan Division for the NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 25 in St. Louis.

Reirden, who coached in last year’s All-Star Game in San Jose, is the first coach in Capitals history to coach in multiple All-Star Games, and he is one of nine active head coaches to coach multiple All-Star Games. Reirden will be joined at this year’s game by the Boston Bruins’ Bruce Cassidy (Atlantic), the St. Louis Blues’ Craig Berube (Central) and the Vegas Golden Knights’ Gerard Gallant (Pacific).

“It’s a tremendous honor,” Reirden said Friday after the Capitals’ morning skate. “Really excited about it. It’s a chance to represent our organization, our players, our team. I couldn’t be more honored and fortunate for this opportunity to do it again, so lots of credit to our players. They put in all the hard work and sacrificed all the time and effort on and off the ice to be on top the league.”

Capitals' John Carlson, Braden Holtby named to NHL All-Star Game

Entering Friday night’s game at the Carolina Hurricanes, Reirden has coached the Capitals to an NHL-best 27-9-5 record. Under the all-star selection process, the coaches of the teams with the highest points percentages (points earned divided by total possible points) at the halfway point of the regular season get the All-Star Game honors.

Reirden said coaching the game in St. Louis is special for him and his family. He spent two seasons there as a player: 1999-2000 and 2000-01. Last year in San Jose, Reirden said he was excited that he got the opportunity to bring his son, Travis, to the skills competition so he could be around the players. This year, he said he plans to talk more with opposing players and coaches, in an attempt to “learn some different things they do to have success.”

“I think the coaching fraternity all year, you battle against each other, and this is a chance to connect and talk about some different things,” he said. “Hopefully I can gain a bit of knowledge on how to continue to improve as a coach, and I’m going to use it as a learning opportunity. But more than anything I’m honored to represent the Washington Capitals.”

Joining Reirden in St. Louis will be defenseman John Carlson and goaltender Braden Holtby. Carlson will be going to his second All-Star Game, and Holtby will be playing in his fifth straight. Alex Ovechkin was voted by fans to be the Metropolitan Division captain, but for the second straight year he has decided to skip the game, citing his desire to be physically ready for the second half of the season. He will serve a one-game suspension before or after the all-star break.

Last year, Reirden coached the Metropolitan to a 10-5 win against the Central in the finale of the three-on-three tournament.

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