As per an NHL Network press release courtesy of the timely Puck The Media:
OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Sept. 13, 2010) – The Ottawa Senators will hold a news conference on Wednesday, Sept. 15, at 11 a.m. at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel. Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and president Cyril Leeder will be joined by National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman to make a major announcement.
Rumblings of what this oh-so special announcement could be were put to rest early Monday afternoon when The Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle tweeted the following:
The big news? Bank on it being Ottawa landing the 2012 all-star game.
If that’s the case, this bodes as wonderful news for the subdivisions and endless farm country that surround Kanata’s concrete edifice known as Scotiabank Place. Located at the far-west end of Ottawa, Scotiabank Place has been criticized by hockey fans in and outside of Ottawa for its location in relation to the city centre. The tyranny of distance has proven to be too much for those looking to celebrate a big victory at a nearby bar or rally to save a franchise player like Jason Spezza.
The NHL All-Star Game will do little to close the distance between Scotiabank Place and Ottawa’s downtown, but it should be a nice shot in the arm for the city’s otherwise frozen January tourism industry. The Senators are currently the only Canadian NHL team that has never hosted an all-star game. Given NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s rocky relationship with Canadian hockey fans, it’s fair to look at the move with judging eyes as a political play while the league and players’ union head into labour uncertainty in 2012.
In the meantime, Ottawa hockey fans should hold their collective breath that Kanata doesn’t get robbed of its impending glory.