At Gary Bettman's press conference today, the commissioner formally announced next year's location for the All Star Game.
It will be held in St. Louisians' favorite city, Los Angeles.
See, next year is the Kings' 50th anniversary, as well as the League's 100th. To celebrate the league's 1967 expansion, the NHL has given the ASG to the team from that expansion that has had the most recent success.
There are other teams turning 50 next year (well, in theory - there is debate as to if next year is really the appropriate year to celebrate the expansion or if the 2017-2018 season would be. My preference is the latter, but as we saw with the Habs, you can celebrate an anniversary for at least two seasons no problem).
Who else could get some love of some sort next year?
The former California Golden Seals, the Dallas Stars, for one. The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins could hold a Stadium Series game to celebrate 50 years of hating each other. And, of course, the St. Louis Blues.
The Blues haven't hosted an All Star Game since 1988, when Mario Lemieux was named MVP and Glen Sather coached against Mike Keenan. Their representative in that game? Rob Ramage.
Tom Stillman and the city of St. Louis are looking at arena upgrades; facility issues may have been taken into consideration as St. Louis lost out on the 2018 World Juniors. With the Rams gone, the city is going to have to rely on the Scottrade Center to recoup lost tax dollars and revenue for local hotels and businesses. Something like the World Juniors could've helped significantly. Staples Center is state of the art. Scottrade, while nice, lags. An All Star Game would be a tremendous boon to the local economy. Would renovations being done earlier have helped St. Louis get it? Probably not. Comparing the Blues to the Kings - success, roster marketability - it is more than obvious which city is going to host the ASG.
What about other events for the 50th anniversary? Will next year finally be the year that the Blues host a Stadium Series game? Call the Dallas Stars up to play one at Busch and celebrate the 50th anniversary of both teams. The 2017 NHL Draft, though, has not been announced - arena upgrades could bring the league to St. Louis.
Other teams weren't mentioned today at Bettman's press conference, but that doesn't mean that there may not be an opportunity for St. Louis to celebrate its hockey team's 50th anniversary.