Major League Baseball pulled its All-Star Game out of Georgia because it didn’t like a voting law enacted by Republicans. Will the NHL do the same?
After all, Florida put the same voting law into place Thursday, and the 2021 NHL All-Star Game is scheduled for the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., home of the Panthers. So will the NHL ASG also move to a new locale?
It’s a fair question, given pro sports leagues’ insistence on putting themselves right in the middle of politics.
Or maybe the NHL has learned from baseball and the backlash it is currently receiving and won’t even mention the voting laws. Maybe hockey will just play hockey.
At last check, the NHL was focused on how the game will be staged, not where it will be held.
“We are in discussions with the Players Association about giving a distinct international flavor to next year’s All-Star Game, but more detail will come at a later date,” commissioner Gary Bettman said in January.
The NHL All-Star Game, as currently scheduled, is set for Jan. 30. Of course, it will feature an entire weekend of festivities, including the skills challenge event, starting Jan. 29.
Florida last hosted an NHL All-Star Game in 2003.
“The Florida Panthers are thrilled to welcome hockey fans from around the world to South Florida for NHL All-Star Weekend,” Panthers president and CEO Matt Caldwell said back in January. “This is one of the League’s premier events of the year, and we couldn’t be more proud to have it in our backyard.”
We’ll see if it sticks.