Between the Los Angeles Kings getting the 2017 NHL All-Star Game and outdoor games likely in Toronto, St. Louis and Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, the one remaining thing to fill on the league calendar for next season is the Draft.
That question will be answered officially on Thursday when the League announces that the Chicago Blackhawks will play host to what will likely be the Nolan Patrick sweepstakes, according to ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun.
A Thursday afternoon press conference will feature NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz, Blackhawks President and CEO John McDonough, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Blackhawks TV analyst Eddie Olczyk. It will be the first time Chicago has hosted the draft.
The city of Chicago has seen a lot of NHL events in recent years with the Blackhawks playing in three Stanley Cup Finals and hosting the 2009 Winter Classic and a 2014 Stadium Series game. (United Center will also host the NCAA Frozen Four in April 2017.)
As Nick Cotsonika wrote last year, the Blackhawks have become the NHL's go-to glamour franchise. They win. They produce All-Stars. They sell out the building. They boost television ratings. We're just surprised with them likely to have played in five outdoor games by the time this draft rolls around that Bettman isn't announcing the 2017 event will be outside.
- - - - - - -
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY: