New York Islanders will host All-Star Weekend in 2026

ByKristen Shilton ESPN logo
Monday, February 19, 2024

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Islanders will host All-Star Weekend in 2026, the NHL announced Sunday.

The news was announced during the first intermission of the Islanders' 6-5 overime loss in their Stadium Series game against the New York Rangers at MetLife Stadium. It was second game of the Series, after the New Jersey Devils defeated the Philadelphia Flyers6-3 on Saturday night.

UBS Arena in Elmont, New York, which opened two seasons ago, will host the league's top stars in thenext NHL All-Star Weekend, after the league skips its annual exhibition in 2025 to roll out the 4 Nations Face-Off, a midseason event that will spotlight players from the United States, Canada, Sweden and Finland.

The Islanders, at the height of their dynasty in the early 1980s, hosted the All-Star Game in 1983 at Nassau Coliseum, where Wayne Gretzky was crowned the game's MVP. The Islanders won four consecutive Stanley Cup titles from 1980 to '83.

"We have been looking forward to UBS Arena playing host to one of our major League events since before construction of this wonderful arena began," commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "We have every confidence that the Islanders organization, led by Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky, will deliver a celebration that will make the greater New York region and the NHL proud."

New York's All-Star Weekend will take place right before NHL players make their return to the 2026 Olympic Games Feb. 6-22 in Milan.

"After an impressive All-Star Weekend earlier this month, the players are looking forward to raising the bar even higher at UBS Arena in 2026, where we know the New York Islanders will be great hosts for the event," NHLPA executive director Marty Walsh said.

Construction on UBS Arena began in 2019 and the Islanders played their inaugural season there in 2021-22. The Islanders played at the Coliseum, and briefly at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, while construction carried on. The venue was a focal point of the area's $1.5 billion economic development plan that projected to be a major boost for the entire region of Long Island.

"We are honored to be invited to host the National Hockey League, the game's finest players and fans from around the world to join us," said Malkin, the Islanders' majority owner. "The 2026 All-Star Weekend will show NHL fans the outstanding destination we have for hockey, shopping and entertainment."