The NHL announced today that they are wiping out all games through December 14th and canceling the 2013 All-Star Game due to their ongoing work stoppage.
“The reality of losing more regular-season games as well as the 2013 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus is extremely disappointing,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly in a statement.
What disappointed many Columbus fans, though, is the fact that the league handled this situation differently than they did the cancellation of the 2013 Winter Classic.
When the NHL erased the January 1st game that was to be played in Ann Arbor, they immediately announced that, “The next NHL Winter Classic – featuring the Red Wings and Maple Leafs – and Hockeytown Winter Festival will take place at the University of Michigan and Comerica Park, respectively.”
No such promise was made regarding Nationwide Arena. Instead, the league said their intention was “to work closely with the Blue Jackets organization to return the NHL All-Star events to Columbus and their fans as quickly as possible.”
A CBJ team spokesman confirms this was the message the team was delivered as well.
So why not a more explicit guarantee?
“The All-Star Game selection process and Winter Classic selection process are very different, and we make very different arrangements around each,” Daly told 97.1 The Fan. “What was possible for WC arrangements just isn’t possible with All Star right now.”
Due to lockouts and Olympics, 2013 marks the the fourth time in the past eight years there is no All-Star Game being played, and with the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia next year, it looks like another season could pass without the league’s best all together on the ice at one time.
Also for that reason, it is likely (although not a certainty) that the earliest the Blue Jackets could host the event is 2015.