PITTSBURGH (AP) - Commissioner Gary Bettman said Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star weekend, the surest sign yet that the NHL will actually bypass the Olympics.
The Lightning had been rumored to host the event, which will take place Jan. 27-28 at Amalie Arena, but the Olympics remained the elephant in the room. The league has said since early April that it won't be sending players to Pyeongchang and would be making its 2017-18 schedule as normal, but some held out hope.
The previous time the NHL held an All-Star weekend and sent players to the Olympics was 1998, the first of five trips to the Games.
Bettman also announced that the Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs' previously reported outdoor game at the Naval Academy will be the start of a series of outdoor games at U.S. service academies.