January is a busy month in the world of professional hockey, thanks to a robust slate of All-Star Games. The NHL, AHL, and ECHL all play their All-Star Games this month, and each of them is planning a unique slate of events around their contests.
For a look at the games and associated events, here is a guide to the 2019 professional hockey All-Star Games, including the NHL, AHL, and ECHL. In the NHL, the venue hosting the game has taken a turn at the contest before, while the two minor-league arenas will host their first All-Star Games in their respective leagues.
The NHL All-Star Game is set for the SAP Center, the home of the San Jose Sharks, on January 26. That will come one night after the SAP Center plays host to the NHL All-Star Skills Competition, and factor into a days’-long slate of events. In addition to the events at SAP Center, there will be a Fan Fair at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center from January 24-27. This will mark the second NHL All-Star Game played in San Jose, and the first since 1997—when the venue was still known as San Jose Arena.
In the AHL, the Springfield Thunderbirds will assume the host responsibility for the All-Star Classic, which will take place at the team’s MassMutual Center. The All-Star Game will be part of a two-day slate of events, including the AHL All-Star Skills Competition on January 27 and then the league’s Hall of Fame induction and awards ceremony and All-Star Game on January 28. This will be the first AHL All-Star Game to be played at downtown Springfield’s MassMutual Center, and the first hosted by a Springfield team since 1959. The 1959 edition of the game took place at West Springfield’s Eastern States Coliseum, which was the home of the AHL’s Indians at the time.
For the ECHL All-Star Game, the Toledo Walleye will stage a number of events leading up to the January 21 contest at Huntington Center. The slate will feature several gatherings in the city’s downtown, including a Fan Fest January 19-20 at Hensville and a Winter Brewfest on January 19 at Fifth Third Field—the home of Minor League Baseball’s Mud Hens (Class AAA; International League). In addition, a Hall of Fame ceremony will take place at nearby SeaGate Centre on January 20, the same night that the Walleye host the Fort Wayne Komets. It is the first time that the ECHL All-Star Game will be played in Toledo, though the Walleye have hosted other major events over the years, including an outdoor game in 2014.
Image of MassMutual Center courtesy Springfield Thunderbirds.
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