A general view a game between the Islanders and the Calgary...

A general view a game between the Islanders and the Calgary Flames during the first period at UBS Arena on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024 in Elmont, New York. Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Islanders have waited more than 40 years to host their second NHL All-Star Game, but that wait soon will be over. The league announced on Sunday that UBS Arena will be the site of the 2026 NHL All-Star Weekend, marking the first time the Islanders have hosted the event since 1983.

Word came during a live interview on ABC with Islanders greats Bryan Trottier and Denis Potvin during the first intermission of Sunday’s Stadium Series game at MetLife Stadium, which the Rangers came back to win, 6-5, in overtime. Potvin broke the news.

“It’s good news,” Islanders captain Anders Lee said after the game. “Our owners have done a great job of putting together a wonderful building, bringing our fans and the team a world-class venue.

“Islanders fans deserve to host an All-Star Game. I’m sure it’s been a long time, but it will be great for them.”

Said Brock Nelson: “I think it’s exciting. I feel like that’s kind of been the way it works out in terms of new building and atmosphere and energy.  I think UBS will be a great host for that. I think fans will embrace it. A great hockey building.”

UBS Arena opened in Elmont for the 2021-22 season and was presumed to be in line to host an All-Star Game at some point. The event will be a major milestone for the building and franchise.

“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,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a news release.

The 2026 All-Star Game will be the next one played because there will not be one next season as the league pauses for the NHL 4 Nations Face-Off. The 2026 game at UBS will serve as a lead-in to the Winter Olympics.

“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 in New York for the 2026 NHL   All-Star Weekend,” Islanders majority owner Scott Malkin said in a release.

The last time the Islanders hosted an All-Star Game, Wayne Gretzky was named MVP at Nassau Coliseum after the Campbell Conference defeated the Wales Conference, 9-3.

 With Andrew Gross

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