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Richardson earns spot on East bench

By virtue of the Binghamton Senators’ 4-2 win over St. John’s on Monday night, Senators rookie head coach Luke Richardson has earned one of the two coaching spots for the Eastern Conference at the 2013 Dunkin’ Donuts AHL All-Star Classic, set for January 27-28 in Providence, R.I.

The Senators (19-7-1-2, .707) own the conference’s best record as of the pre-determined deadline — the end of play on Dec. 31.

Richardson was named Binghamton’s head coach on May 23, 2012, after three seasons as an assistant coach with the parent Ottawa Senators.

A 20-year NHL veteran, Richardson played in 1,417 career games as a defenseman with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Senators, recording 35 goals, 166 assists and 2,055 penalty minutes. He added eight assists and 130 penalty minutes in 69 career NHL playoff games.

Toronto’s Dallas Eakins has earned the first Western Conference coaching bid, as the Marlies own the best record in the West. One additional head coach from each conference will be selected by the American Hockey League to join the two coaching staffs for the event.