OTTAWA | The Columbus Blue Jackets find themselves at the bottom of the NHL standings and likely will be the first team to start selling off pieces at the trade deadline. But in January 2013, they’ll host the hockey world.
Columbus and Nationwide Arena will be the site of the 2013 NHL All-Star Weekend, commissioner Gary Bettman announced Saturday at his annual state of the league address. The Columbus Post-Dispatch on Friday first reported the Blue Jackets getting the game.
“The Blue Jackets did a terrific job of hosting the NHL draft in 2007 and we have no doubt that we’ll have a good time there,” Bettman said. “We look forward to bringing all of these events and all of our guests to Columbus.”
According to TSN, Washington was among the possible finalists for the ‘13 All-Star Weekend, and it is well-known that the Capitals have applied to host both the All-Star Game and the NHL Entry Draft. But with a Winter Classic likely coming to town in either 2014 or 2015, it’s possible the city will have to wait on the NHL’s other premier events.
Instead, Columbus, which has made the playoffs once in 11 seasons and has languished in the NHL basement for much of this year, will get the attention and revenue next winter. The All-Star skills competition is set for Jan. 26 and the game on Jan. 27.