The 2017 NHL All-Star game will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles with the Kings playing host, commissioner Gary Bettman announced Saturday.
“We’ll be in another city where the building of an arena transformed its downtown into a destination after years of just the opposite,” Bettman said. He noted during his press conference at All-Star weekend in Nashville that next year’s game will include special events to be announced as the NHL celebrates its centennial.
The Kings will host the All-Star game for the third time, after putting on the event in 1981 and 2002. The franchise will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2017.
“Today’s announcement is tremendous news for our fans and for our entire club,” said former player and current president of business operations Luc Robitaille in a statement. “This means so much. Hockey in Southern California continues to grow at an incredible rate and this is another opportunity for the LA Kings to help grow this great game, one that we love, while also putting on a great show and giving a popular NHL event a special Los Angeles flair. Our fans are going to be thrilled – an event like this truly is a spectacle -- and it is a great way to help cap our 50th Anniversary celebration which will begin very soon.”
At his press conference, Bettman also touched on the issue of NHL expansion, noting that the league has eyes on Quebec City and Las Vegas. He added that the league would need a year’s time prior to expansion to get rosters in order.