- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 28, 2012

OTTAWA — Washington Capitals public address announcer Wes Johnson wants to broadcast a Stanley Cup Final, a Winter Classic and an All-Star Game. The Winter Classic is coming to the D.C. area soon enough, but Johnson and the Caps will have to wait at the very least until 2014 for an NHL All-Star Game.

Columbus was named host of the 2013 game on Saturday, rewarding the Blue Jackets more for their success in hosting the 2007 draft than their success on the ice.

“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,” commissioner Gary Bettman said. “We look forward to bringing all of these events and all of our guests to Columbus.”

The Blue Jackets have made the playoffs just once in their 10 full seasons and are dead last in the league at the All-Star break with 32 points. The next-closest team to the basement, the Edmonton Oilers, has 41.


It is well-known that the Caps would like to host the draft and the All-Star Game, and TSN reported Washington was believed to be a finalist for the 2013 event. Instead, it will take place Jan. 26 and 27 at Nationwide Arena.

Coyotes a ‘work in progress’

The city of Glendale, Ariz., may be willing to pump another $25 million into the Coyotes to keep them afloat, but Bettman reported nothing new about the flailing franchise.

“We haven’t had any discussions with the city of Glendale about next season,” the commissioner said.

Bettman pointed out that the Coyotes’ situation — currently owned by the NHL and with no outside buyer as of yet — is a “work in progress.”

French-Canadian reporters kept posing questions to Bettman during his state-of-the-league speech Saturday regarding the Coyotes. Quebec City has made no secret of its desire to get an NHL team back after losing the Nordiques in the mid-1990s.

Ice chips

Bettman said the NHL was not subsidizing the New Jersey Devils, whose financial situation appears to be in disarray, but he did not deny that it is not irregular for the league to advance money to teams. … Discussing the shootout, the commissioner claimed the tie-breaking procedure had a 70 to 80 percent popularity rate among fans. … The NHL awards show will remain in Las Vegas for at least the next three years and will take place at the Wynn this summer.