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NHL officially names Tampa Bay Lightning host of 2018 All-Star Game

Fans gather outside AMALIE Arena in Tampa, Florida. (Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

The NHL is taking its talent to Tampa next season.

As was reported here two weeks ago and confirmed by the NHL on Monday, the Lightning will host the 2018 all-star festivities at AMALIE Arena Jan. 27-28.

This will be the second time Tampa has hosted the event, the first coming back in 1999 when Ron Tugnutt and Arturs Irbe were all-stars and Wayne Gretzky was named the game’s MVP one final time.

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Monday’s announcement also put to rest any doubt about the NHL’s participation, or lack thereof, in the 2018 Olympic Games. Many in the hockey world speculated that by waiting so long to name an all-star host — the announcement usually comes at a much-earlier date — that there was still an outside chance the league could change its tune on Olympic participation.

Bettman squashed all hope during Monday’s press conference.

No word yet on whether they have any celebrity surprises in store, but a quick google search doesn’t inspire much excitement.