During tonight’s preseason game at Amalie Arena the Tampa Bay Lightning unveiled the logo for the upcoming 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game. The Bolts will act as hosts for the Skills Competition and All-Star Game on January 27th and 28th next year.
The logo does a great job of encapsulating the diverse and seemingly contradictory aspects of an ice based sport in the state of Florida. Sure there’s sun and surf but as Captain Steven Stamkos points out, Tampa is a hockey town. It throws in a bit of history with a callback to the 1999 All Star Game Logo, a weekend that was also hosted by the Lightning. The league is more than a little different in the almost 19 years that will have passed since that weekend. The Lightning have evolved quite a bit as well and this is an excellent opportunity to showcase their city as a premiere hockey destination.
What do pirates have to do with any of this? Well, the annual Gasparilla parade will be taking place the same weekend as the All-Star festivities. Think a giant Mardi Gras parade in the day time with loads of revelry, beads, and pirates. It’s a uniquely Tampa tradition and it will be fascinating to see how the respective crowds that come to town mesh with each other. There’s bound to be quite a few pirates in the stands for the skills competition. Just go with it. It’s normal down here.
The fact that the Lightning are hosting the All-Star Weekend as part of their 25th anniversary is a huge testament to the team’s growth not only on the ice but in their community as well. Stick with us for information on additional All-Star events and other information as it’s released.