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Stothers to coach Eastern All-Stars

In his first season as head coach of the Manchester Monarchs, Mike Stothers has earned one of the two Eastern Conference coaching berths for the 2015 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino, which will be held January 25-26 in Utica, N.Y.

Stothers’ Monarchs have clinched the best record in the East at the pre-determined deadline, the end of play on Dec. 31. Manchester finished play on Saturday at 22-6-1-1, good 46 points and a league-best .767 points percentage.

This will be the third AHL All-Star Classic for Stothers, who was an assistant under Bill Barber at the 1998 and 1999 events.

Stothers, 52, has 30-plus years of professional hockey experience as both a player and coach. Before joining the Monarchs, he served as head coach of the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League for three seasons (2011-14). He was also head coach of Owen Sound in the Ontario Hockey League from 2002-07.

In the AHL, Stothers spent one season as head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2007-08, and was an assistant with the Hershey Bears (1994-96) and Philadelphia Phantoms (1996-2000), winning a Calder Cup championship in 1998.

Stothers has also been an assistant in the NHL with Philadelphia (2000-02) and Atlanta (2010-11).

As a player, Stothers, a Toronto-born defenseman who was selected in the first round (21st overall) by the Flyers at the 1980 NHL Draft, played 671 games in the AHL with Maine, Hershey and Newmarket, notching 38 goals and 106 assists for 144 points. His 1,840 career penalty minutes rank him 13th all-time. Stothers won a Calder Cup playing for Maine in 1984.

Travis Green of the Utica Comets has earned the first coaching berth in the Western Conference. One additional head coach from each conference will be selected by the American Hockey League to join the two staffs for the event.