In a move that should shock exactly nobody, the 2013 NHL All Star Game, which was to be held in Columbus in January, has been cancelled.
The NHL has wiped out blocks of games at various points in the past couple of months as the lockout dragged on. This most recent block, however, also included the annual gathering of the games best, an event that would, if only for a short while, put Columbus front and center on the hockey map.
Columbus finds itself in the same situation that Atlanta went through back in 2005. The 2005 All Star Game was cancelled due to the last lockout, but the Thrashers hosted the game three years later in 2008. The expectation is that Columbus will host the event in the near future.
Though it's another disappointment for Columbus and their fans, there are two positives to take from today's news.
Had the NHL resumed play after missing games, but before the All Star Game was cancelled, there would always be an asterisk associated with the game due to the shortened season. Not such a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but a full half-season of play prior to the event is what we'd all want to see.
The second is the lack of a true star currently on the roster to serve as the face of the event. Under the current format, a representative from the host team has been named captain of the "home team" during the live team selection. Additionally, that same player serves as ambassador for the event, pulling triple duty with the media, and acting as the host city's number one cheerleader. That isn't to say that one of the players currently on the roster wouldn't do a fantastic job in those roles, but the fact remains Columbus doesn't have a marquee star player on the roster since the big guy was traded to New York. The hope is, that when Columbus gets another crack at hosting the event they will have a star player on the roster. A player that wouldn't seem like a stretch leading an All Star roster.
I'll say this much though, to all of the fans who had already purchased their tickets- could your refund come at a better time than Black Friday?