NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman made the official announcement that Columbus will host the 2013 NHL All-Star weekend. The Blue Jackets will play host to the stars next season at Nationwide Arena on January 26 and 27, 2013 bringing Columbus their first All-Star Game and the biggest NHL event in the city since the 2007 NHL Draft.
“We’re looking forward to bringing our All-Star celebration to Columbus,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “The Blue Jackets did a great job of hosting the NHL Draft in 2007, and I have no doubt they will raise the bar even higher when they welcome our All-Star celebration next January.”
I believe that the Columbus Blue Jackets are happy about this announcement as well. What would the Blue Jackets hope could come of this? Well first off, lets hope that the Blue Jackets have entirely different season as they have this year or this NHL All-Star weekend could just remind the Blue Jackets of how terrible they are. And after seeing fans in Ottawa stuff the ballot box for the Senators this year, the possibility of seeing guys like Rick Nash, Ryan Johansen and others winding up playing in front of the home fans in Columbus will be curious to see but I wouldn’t bet on it happening.
Why? Well, the Columbus Blue Jackets are in a failing season and comparing their fans to the Ottawa fans is almost like slapping the Ottawa fans in the face with a wet rag. Columbus fans have been few and far between and the rest of the NHL fan base is not about to rally to help get the host team’s players into the All- Star game. We are likely to see Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Claude Giroux, and a few select others shine through in the fan voting portion in the 2013 All-Star game. The league may opt to add a few Blue Jacket players into the mix just as a pity vote. Don’t get me wrong, Rick Nash is a good player and could make the All-Star game if Nash’s talents were being used to the fullest; but the Blue Jackets haven’t found a way to do such a thing.
Regardless, Columbus gets the bid and city’s like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Boston will have to wait another year to be the NHL All-Star Host City. Let’s hope that Gary Bettman hasn’t messed up another thing; yet we already know that Gary Bettman has.