The NHL on Friday cancelled its regular season games through Dec. 14, bringing the amount of cancelled contests to 422, more than a third of the entire 2012-13 season. With labor strife at an all-time high, the NHL and its players were dealt another blow when with the annoucement it would have to cancel its All-Star Weekend, scheduled this year in Columbus, Ohio.
â€śThe reality of losing more regular-season games as well as the 2013 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus is extremely disappointing,â€ť NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement released Friday. â€śWe feel badly for NHL fans and particularly those in Columbus, and we intend to work closely with the Blue Jackets organization to return the NHL All-Star events to Columbus and their fans as quickly as possible.â€ť
The event, originally scheduled for Jan. 26 and 27 at Nationwide Arena, was expected to bring an estimated $12 million to the Greater Columbus area. It would have been one of the biggest professional sporting events ever hosted in Columbus.
â€śFirst and foremost, the Blue Jackets are very disappointed for our fans that All-Star festivities will not be coming to our great city in January,â€ť said Blue Jackets president Mike Priest. â€śOur commitment to bringing this event to our fans is as strong as ever. The NHL believes Columbus will be a great host and will work with us to bring the All-Star Celebration here as soon as possible.â€ť
The NHL lost the much heralded Winter Classic, its marquee game held outdoors on New Yearâ€™s Day. The game was supposed to pit the Detroit Red Wings against Toronto Maple Leafs at the University of Michigan Stadium.