NHL sets 2018 All-Star and Stadium Series

In the lead-up to Game 1 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final between the Penguins and Predators, the NHL announced the 2018 All-Star Weekend and 2018 Stadium Series!

As rumored, the 2018 NHL All-Star will be hosted by the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on the weekend of Jan. 27-28. The 3-on-3 tournament format will continue. Tampa has previously hosted one other All-Star weekend in 1999 — the last one Wayne Gretzky played in.

The announcement of the All-Star Game would indicate the NHL is not interested in changing its mind about keeping its players out of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

At least one 2018 NHL Stadium Series game will be staged at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. The Washington Capitals will host the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on March 3.

This game on 3/3 will be the third outdoor game for each team. The Leafs played in the 2014 Winter Classic and the NHL Centennial Classic this season — facing the Red Wings in both games. The Caps played in the 2011 Winter Classic in Pittsburgh and the 2015 Winter Classic against the Blackhawks at Nationals Stadium.

Interestingly enough, both teams are undefeated outdoors.

The NHL previously announced the 2018 Winter Classic at Citi Field between the Rangers and Sabres. A third outdoor game in December called the NHL100 Classic will include the Senators and Canadiens. 

That means, so far, all 2017-18 outdoor games feature Eastern Conference teams only. Hopefully the league finds a way to rectify this with a second Stadium Series game out west.