There will likely be several Lightning players at the NHL All-Star Game in Tampa Jan. 27-28.
So it's fitting the head coach would go, too.
The Times has reported since last week that Jon Cooper would lead the Atlantic Division All Stars and, on Sunday, it became official. Cooper joins Washington's Barry Trotz (Metro), Nashville's Peter Laviolette (Central) and Vegas' Gerard Gallant (Pacific) for the 3-on-3 tournament.
Under the All-Star selection process, the head coach of the team with the highest points percentage (points earned divided by a total possible points) through Jan. 6 – the halfway point of the season – gets to guide the division's All-Star team.
This will be Cooper's first NHL All-Star gig. Captain Steven Stamkos was named Atlantic Division captain last week. The rest of the All-Star rosters will be announced Wednesday, with Lightning wing Nikita Kucherov and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy likely locks to make the team. Defenseman Victor Hedman has a shot, though could be excluded due to the fact every team has to be represented.