Earlier today the NHL announced the captains for the upcoming 2019 NHL All-Star Game in San Jose, and now Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic has discovered where the event will be held next season. The 2020 game is expected to be held at the Enterprise Center, home of the St. Louis Blues.
It had been rumored for quite some time that St. Louis was trying to secure an All-Star game in one of the next two seasons, and this way will be in no danger of missing out to a work stoppage. Next year is the final guaranteed season under the current CBA, given the opt-out dates in September 2019 that could cause a problem for the 2020-21 season. That’s a long way away still, and right now Blues fans should be focused on the league’s brightest stars coming to town to celebrate the NHL.
While it’s obviously a great achievement for any NHL city to host the All-Star game, it does put even more pressure on the Blues to be competitive next season. They’ll want to be well represented by players from their roster, something that may not necessarily happen this season. Ryan O’Reilly has a good shot at being selected up front, but with the down year from Vladimir Tarasenko and recent injury to Alex Pietrangelo, O’Reilly could be the lone representative.
The St. Louis area is a hotbed for hockey in the United States, and has continued to produce NHL players throughout the years. It will be interesting to see if Matthew and Brady Tkachuk are able to put together seasons deserving of selection next year, given their ties to and popularity in St. Louis.