Speaking before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed that Las Vegas would be getting the 2022 All-Star Game instead of the Florida Panthers.
The Panthers had been announced as the host of the 2021 game but that was canceled due to the compressed schedule.
Florida team president Matt Caldwell had told Florida Hockey Now on a few occasions that he was under the impression that the NHL would return to Sunrise — as it will go to Target Field in Minneapolis for a 2022 outdoor game that had been cancelled in 2021 — but that is not the case.
“I am pretty certain when we do an All-Star Game, we’re going to get it back,’’ Caldwell told FHN in October. “It may be postponed a year or whatever.”
It is not known if Sunrise remains in the rotation for a potential All-Star Game down the road although Bettman did say a scheduled outdoor game in Raleigh — which is not on this year’s schedule — will be made up in the future.
Nashville will play host to Tampa Bay at the Titans’ football stadium instead of the NC State football stadium.
When the NHL initially cancelled 2021 special events, it said it “intends to return to both Minnesota and Florida for these signature events in the near future.”
So, one would think South Florida remains in the mix for a future All-Star Weekend.
As far as why Florida would be skipped in the All-Star rotation this coming season, Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the NHL and its players could participate in the 2022 Winter Games although that does not sound likely.
But if the players were to be traveling to Beijing, having a good number of them flying out from Nevada would make for a little bit of a shorter than if they were leaving from Florida.
I was in the queue for the Bettman press conference but did not get the opportunity to ask a question about it.
I have also left a message for Caldwell and will update this story if I hear back from him.