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As part of the 2007 NHL All-Star Celebration, the National Hockey League and the Dallas Stars today announced details surrounding the American Airlines "Salute to a Generation of Stars," presented by Idearc Media, official publishers of the Verizon Yellow Pages, that will be held on Monday, Jan. 22 from 6 - 8 pm at American Airlines Center. This great event will combine open practices of the 2007 Eastern and Western All-Star teams with a tribute to 11 hockey legends of the NHL. This salute will serve as a showcase of two generations of hockey players: those who dominated and those inspired by their greatness. Academy Award winning actor and long-time hockey fan Cuba Gooding Jr. will host the festivities.

NHL legends scheduled to appear include: 19-time All-Star Ray Bourque; Hockey Hall of Famer and three-time Norris Trophy winner Paul Coffey; top-scoring US-born skater Phil Housley; 1999 Stanley Cup winner with the Dallas Stars Brett Hull; Hockey Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux; Olympic Gold Medalist and 13-time All-Star Al MacInnis; six-time Stanley Cup winner and 15-time All-Star Mark Messier; Hockey Hall of Famer Larry Murphy; four-time All-Star Joe Nieuwendyk; five-time All-Star Adam Oates and eight-time All-Star Luc Robitaille.

Fans in attendance will have the opportunity to cheer for these great players one more time and applaud their marvelous careers. Each individual "salute" will include highlight clips of the player's career, as well as some testimonials from other NHL players, teammates and coaches who competed with and against them. These legends will then come out one-by-one to the main stage and do a quick interview with Gooding, Jr. Local DFW youth hockey players will participate in the ceremony as well, carrying individual banners of the legends.

The program for the evening will kick-off with the first five honorees of this group: Messier, Coffey, MacInnis, Robitaille, and Nieuwendyk. Stars fans will no doubt appreciate the appearance by the recently-retired Nieuwendyk, whose performance during his years in Dallas provided many great memories, including winning the Conn Smythe trophy as MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 1999.

Fans will then have the opportunity to see the Western Conference team practice, with fun drills to show off the team's skill and live interviews of the players from the ice. Western Conference All-Stars Head Coach Randy Carlyle of Anaheim will describe the drills live from the ice. Western Conference All-Stars include Joe Thornton, Joe Sakic, Scott Niedermayer, Marty Turco, Philippe Boucher, Teemu Selanne, Rick Nash, Bill Guerin, Brian Rolston and Roberto Luongo, among others.

Upon conclusion of the West practice, the salute to the legends will continue with the remaining six honorees: Lemieux, Housley, Murphy, Bourque, Oates, and ending with Hull. Brett Hull scored a ton of important goals in his career, but none will ever match the one he scored in the early morning hours of June 20, 1999, in Buffalo to win the Dallas Stars the Stanley Cup.

The Eastern Conference Practice will then take place, again with drills and interviews of some of the best players in the world. Young phenoms Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin lead an impressive lineup that includes Brendan Shanahan, Eric Staal, Martin Brodeur, Marian Hossa, Dany Heatley, Zdeno Chara, and Vincent Lecavalier, among others. East Head Coach Lindy Ruff of Buffalo will again describe some of the drills from the ice.

The Dallas Stars worked closely with the National Hockey League and the NHLPA to make this great event happen. It was created specifically for the fans of Dallas and is a fantastic option to see all of the NHL All-Stars in action for anyone who cannot come to the Tuesday events or the All-Star Game on Wednesday. Plus the salute to the 11 legends of the game make it a night that will be remembered for a long, long time.

And fans can come out early where the Stars and the NHL will officially kick off the events with a 1999 Dallas Stars Stanley Cup Reunion! At 5 pm at the South Plaza of American Airlines Center, fans can help celebrate the reunion of the Stars' greatest team as several members of that 1999 squad bring the Lord Stanley's Cup back to Dallas for the All-Star Celebration. Emceed by Ralph Strangis, several key 1999 team members have agreed to participate, including Craig Ludwig, Benoit Hogue, Shawn Chambers, Pat Verbeek, Brian Skrudland, Dave Reid, Joe Nieuwendyk, Darryl Sydor, and Brett Hull. There are sure to be a few others added to the reunion, including some that still play here in Dallas (more confirmations are still pending). Word has it that the players' entrance to this reunion is not to be missed! This event is free for any fans to attend.
 
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