At his press conference before the Skills Competition last Saturday, Gary Bettman revealed that the Los Angeles Kings would be hosting the 2017 All Star Game as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations. Speculation began as to what the other teams celebrating their birthday would get. It's being reported that the Penguins and Flyers will get a chance to host at least a Stadium Series matchup, again at Heinz Field. This'll be the fourth outdoor game for the Pens and the third for the Flyers.
Fearless Leader Brad Lee read my mind when he tweeted earlier:
Yep. The Blues and the Stars are the only two teams left who haven't been given their birthday present. The unfortunate thing is that they have to compete with the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are celebrating their big 100, and who seem to probably be a better candidate - especially ratings and revenue wise - to get a Winter Classic and probably the 2017 draft. The Blues and Stars in a Stadium Series game would be tremendous, though.
Then the answer comes down to this: would it be at Busch Stadium or Globe Life Park in Arlington? Busch has the better TV optics (though I'm biased as hell), and the ratings'd be through the roof in St. Louis, who will watch basically any hockey you put on TV. The issue is that out of all of the teams celebrating their 50th anniversary, the Blues and Stars have the least national TV appeal, which of course translates into the least profitability. As we're all aware, not all NHL teams are equal in the eyes of the league, who (admittedly, rightfully) allow cash to dictate who gets the events and who gets on TV.
It would be nice to see Dallas and St. Louis be able to celebrate in style, but the pragmatist in me isn't holding my breath.