On Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016 the National Hockey League officially announced the Los Angeles Kings will host the 2017 NHL All-Star game. This will be the third time in franchise history that the southern California franchise will host the annual classic. Each time has had a special meaning and this time will be no different, as it coincides with the team’s 50th anniversary. It will also mark the 100th anniversary of the NHL. The game will take place on Jan. 29, 2017.
The Kings were part of the NHL’s first expansion in 1967 when the league doubled in size. The Kings, along with the California Seals, St. Louis Blues, Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, and Pittsburgh Penguins all began play that year. The next wave of expansion came in 1970, when the Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks joined in.
The first time the Kings hosted the All-Star game, was on Feb. 10, 1981. This was a great treat for the hometown fans, as the team’s famed “Triple Crown Line” (Marcel Dionne, Dave Taylor and Charlie Simmer) were all named to the team, as was Kings goaltender Mario Lessard. Dionne, Taylor and Simmer were introduced together and skated onto the ice at the same time, much to the delight of the packed house at the Fabulous Forum. At this time, the NHL was comprised of the 11-team Campbell Conference and the 10-team Wales Conference. The Kings were a part of the Wales Conference; the Campbell Conference won the game 4-1. Located in Inglewood, CA, the Forum was home to the Kings up until the 1999-2000 season, when they began play at STAPLES Center.
During their third season at STAPLES Center, on Feb. 2, 2002 the Kings again hosted the NHL All-Star game for the second time. This coincided with the team’s 35th anniversary. At this time, the NHL was using the ‘North America vs The World’ format. Kings players Ziggy Palffy and Jaroslav Modry represented ‘The World’ team which downed North America by a final score of 8-5. Team North America was comprised of the best players from the USA and Canada, while the opposing team was comprised of the best players from the rest of the World.
The 2016 NHL All-Star game is being hosted by the Nashville Predators. The Los Angeles Kings are being represented by defenseman Drew Doughty and goaltender Jonathan Quick. The festivities began on Friday, Jan. 29. The extremely popular NHL skills competition will take place at 4:00 pm PT on Saturday, Jan. 30. The weekend will culminate with the 61st annual NHL All-Star Game which is scheduled to begin at 2:00 pm PT on Sunday, Jan. 31.