Raleigh Gets All-Stars in 2011

The Carolina Hurricanes will host the next NHL All-Star Weekend, January 29-30, 2011 in Raleigh, N.C., which will include the 58th NHL All-Star Game.

The NHL made the announcement today in front of fans outside the RBC Center, where the event will be held. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the Hurricanes beat out 14 other team applications but didn't say which clubs applied.

Many assumed the league would award the big event to the Phoenix Coyotes, who might've benefited from the extra attention and financial help the NHL biggest stars would've attracted. I'm going out on a big limb here, but is it a subtle sign the league is considering allowing the franchise to find a new home?

The Hurricanes have never hosted an NHL All-Star Game since moving to Raleigh. The Hartford Whalers had it in 1986. This will mark the third straight time an Eastern Conference team will play host to the All-Stars.

There was no game this year because of the Olympics, but Montreal had it in 2009 and Atlanta in 2008. The Canes will be the fourth Southeast Division team to have the All-Stars since 1999 when Tampa hosted. The Panthers did it in 2003.

So let the concept art begin! What will the All-Star jerseys look like? How about the All-Star logo? Who will play in the most-watched exhibition game of the season? And most importantly, what do you think of the host selection? Did the league make the right call?