SPORTS

Columbus Blue Jackets to host NHL all-star game in 2013

01/28/2012 11:52 EST | Updated 03/29/2012 05:12 EDT
OTTAWA - The NHL all-star game is heading to Columbus in 2013.

Commissioner Gary Bettman announced Saturday that Nationwide Arena would be the next host for the game.

The news comes at a time when the Blue Jackets sit last in the NHL standings.

"It's a piece of good news," Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson said. "We haven't had much good news this year."

It will be the first major NHL event in the city since the 2007 draft.

This year's all-star game will be played at Scotiabank Place on Sunday afternoon.

Next year's all-star weekend will be Jan. 26-27 and will mark the third straight year a city has hosted the game for the first time. Raleigh, N.C., home of the Carolina Hurricanes, hosted the game last year.

"We're looking forward to bringing our all-star celebration to Columbus," 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."

It was welcome news for a team that is struggling this season. The Blue Jackets are 13-30-6 with a league-low 32 points. Only the Tampa Bay Lightning (165) have allowed more goals this season than Columbus (163).

"The Blue Jackets are honoured to host the 2013 all-star celebration in Columbus as we believe our city offers a truly unique setting for this special event," said Blue Jackets majority owner John P. McConnell. "As much as it is a showcase for the NHL's best players, it is also a celebration of hockey fans and having it in Columbus is a testament to the fantastic support of our fans and the strength of Central Ohio as a hockey market."

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