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Could the NHL All-Star Game come back to Pittsburgh for the first time in more than 20 years? Well, the chances just got a lot better today, because the Penguins just officially submitted their bid to host the annual contest in their new arena in 2011.

The league's one and only midseason trip to the city was during the 1990-91 season, and it was historic. Not only was it the first time that Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky played head-to-head in front of a national TV audience, it was the first time a skills competition and Old-Timers game were included in the weekend. The event also included microphones on refs and interviews with players during stops in play, once again not the norm of the day.

The Pens were represented by Mario Lemieux and Paul Coffey in the starting lineup, helping the Wales conference to a 12-7 win in a wild game. Lemieux scored four goals, including three on his first three shots, to outduel Gretzky and skate off with MVP honors.

To further bring back memories, here's a Marv Albert-narrated clip from the game:

In addition to their All-Star hopes, the Penguins will apply to have the Frozen Four, the college hockey championship, in 2013 or 2014, in conjunction with Robert Morris University. So if all things go well, we could be seeing even more great hockey players than usual in these parts in the coming years, all of which would not be possible without the presence of the new facility.

Penguins submit bid for 2011 NHL All-Star game [PG]

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