Friday April 29th, 2016

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The NHL is returning to Kansas City ... for one night, anyway.

The Washington Capitals announced on Friday that they'll face the St. Louis Blues in an exhibition game on Oct. 5 at the Sprint Center. The Blues, in turn,  announced that both Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Ovechkin are scheduled to play in the contest.

Kansas City was once considered a leading candidate to attract an NHL team via expansion or relocation. That no longer appears to be the case. No one from the city stepped forward when the league invited expansion applications last year.

GALLERY: Behind the scenes at Las Vegas' new NHL-ready arena

The Sprint Center would seem to provide an ideal base for a franchise, but as one of the most heavily-booked facilities in the country it would be hard pressed to clear enough dates for an NHL schedule. The lack of passionate and well-heeled local ownership options doesn't help the cities chances to land Scouts 2.0, either.

The city has offered a mixed reception to exhibition action in the past. A 2009 game between the Kings and Islanders drew a handful of diehards, but in 2011, nearly 18,000 were on hand to watch the Kings play the Penguins. A game between the Avalanche and Rangers the following year was canceled due to the NHL lockout.

The Blues hosted the Stars at the most recent game in 2014.

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