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DALLAS (CP) - The Montreal Canadiens were awarded the 2008-09 season All-Star Game by the NHL on Tuesday.

The NHL's best will be back in Montreal for the first time since 1993, when the 44th NHL All-Star Game was held at the Forum.

The contest will coincide with the club's 100th anniversary.

"We're very, very happy to have been appointed as hosts of the all-star game," said Canadiens president Pierre Boivin. "It's going to be our centennial year and we said from the beginning that we want to do everything so that Montreal really becomes hockey-centric and that it'd be a year of celebration of not only the franchise but or our national sport and our great game and all of its heroes."

Montreal last hosted the all-star game in 1993, when the Wales Conference crushed the Campbell Conference 16-6. The Forum was also the site of the 1975 and 1969 All-Star games as well as eight matchups between the Canadiens and NHL All-Stars from 1953 through 1967.

The last all-star game played in Canada was at Toronto in 2000, when the World team beat North American 9-4.

Next year's all-star game will be played in Atlanta.
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