The Florida Panthers have been announced as the host of the 2021 NHL All-Star game. This will be the second time Florida has hosted the league’s midseason festivities. The 2021 NHL All-Star Game was chosen in favour of a World Cup of Hockey. George Richards of The Athletic announced the news Tuesday morning.
— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) January 21, 2020
Panthers to Host All-Stars in 2021
The last time the Panthers hosted the NHL All-Star Game was in 2003. The team technically had two representatives in that game in Sandis Ozolinsh and Olli Jokinen. The game has changed significantly since that when the Eastern and Western Conferences played each other. Now, the league splits into four groups based on division.
Choosing Florida for the first time in over 15 years shows that the league remains committed to expanding its footprint with new host cities for its events. It held its Winter Classic in Dallas this season and will showcase Colorado Springs and Minneapolis in the next couple of years. The NHL has been far too focused on cities of its original six franchises so expanding the destinations adds needed variety. The league has also shown a trend of choosing warmer cities for its All-Star contest. The last matchup held in a city with a traditional winter was in 2015 in Columbus. This gives the players a break from the weather they usually face.
What This Means for the Future
This is certainly a boost to the Panthers as host and represents another good opportunity for the franchise. It has boosted its profile significantly since last season adding Sergei Bobrovsky and Joel Quenneville but an NHL All-Star Game is another thing entirely. It brings fans from all over the hockey community to celebrate skill and hockey entertainment. There is still over a year until the game but the franchise will start planning around this game now that it has been announced.
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