Met Center

Press clipping as it appeared in January 28th, 1972 edition of The Hockey News

                                by Dwanyne Netland

 Minnesota, which has served as the genial host for the
 World Series, the baseball All Star game and the U.S.
 Open golf tournament within the last seven years,
 receives the fourth jewel in its sporting crown Jan. 25.

 It's the National Hockey League's silver anniverary All
 Star game, scheduled at Metropolitan Sports Center in
 suburban Bloomington.

 The management of the Minnesota North Stars has been
 working for two years to complete preparations of the
 event, and the accomplishment has been a thorough one.
 Recent improvements to the building, constructed in
 1967, include carpeting in the dressing rooms, an
 illuminatied scoreboard carrying results from all other
 NHL games and a ramp for standees which increased Met's
 capacity to 15,700.

 The game was sold out several weeks ago. Season ticket
 subscribers to Minnesota games were given the option at
 the time the season books were purchased, including
 the All Star game in the package. The North Stars sold
 an even 12,000 season tickets this season; only one
 person declined the opportunity of buying his All-Star
 tickets in the package.

 Along with the game itself, which has a 7:30 p.m. (CST)
 faceoff, All Star week is the occasion for gatherings of
 all levels within the NHL. The leagues's governors will
 hold several important meetings over the Jan. 24-25
 period, one of which may disclose the final divisonal
 breakdown for the 14 member teams next season.

 There will also be sessions involving general managers,
 coaches, player representatives and the Professional
 Hockey Writer Association.

 All-Star headquarters will be at the Radisson South
 Hotel, a huge and beautiful structure just a little over
 one year old located on Interstate Highway 494
 southwest of Minneapolis loop. It is only about a 10
 minute cab ride, all of it on freeway, from the Met.

 The Radisson South will hold the annual All-Star banquet
 on Jan 24. Proceeds from this affair, open to the
 public at $25 a plate, go to the Variety Club Heart
 Hospital benefit of the University of Minnesota.

 Among the dignitaries at the banquet will be Larry Mann,
 Canadian-born movie and television actor from Los
 Angeles, who will serve as special guest; and Al Shaver,
 popular radio voice of the North Stars who will be

 Present at the dinner, of course, will be not only the
 officers and directors of the league, but all players
 selected to compete in the game. In an addional cermony,
 the individual NHL trophies will be formally presented
 to their 1971 winners.

 These include the Hart Trophy and the Norris Memorial to
 Bobby Orr; the Art Ross Trophy to Phil Esposito;  the
 Calder Trophy to Gil Perreault; the Conn Smythe Trophy
 to Ken Dryden; the Lady Byng to John Bucyk; the
 Masterton to Jean Ratelle and the Vezina to Ed Giacomin
 and Gilles Villemure.

 It will be the greatest collection of professonal hockey
 talent ever assembled in Minnesota which has a long
 history itself of hockey tradition.

 One word of warning to visitors; it will probally be
 very cold inthe Twin Cities at that time. It generally
 is around the third week in January, often dipping down
 to 20 below, so be sure to bring along plenty of warm

 The game, with will mark the 25th anniversaty of NHL All
 Star competition, will match the East Divison, coached
 by Al MacNeil, against the West, coached by Bill Reay,
 and it will also mark the first time in 23 years that
 Gordie Howe, no retired, won't be in an All Star
 uniform. Al MacNeil, now with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs
 of the American Hockey League, directed the Montreal
 Canadiens to the Stanley Cup championship last spring, in
 a seven-game final series with the Chicago Black Hawks,
 coached by Reay.

 The All Star game was originated back in 1947. Several
 formats have been employed, including the Stanley Cup
 champions against the All Stars, and the first All Star
 team against the Second. It was switched from an autumn
 setting to mid-season in 1968, when expansion teams
 participated for the first time.

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