Bettman: We should have NHL draft, All-Star Game in Edmonton

Gary Bettman talks about why he believe Rogers Place would be a great venue to hold a NHL Draft and All-Star game.

After making his first trip to Rogers Place in Edmonton, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman already has high hopes for the league’s newest arena.

“I believe we should have a draft here, I believe we should have an All-Star Game here,” Bettman said on Tuesday, before the Edmonton Oilers hosted the Dallas Stars.

Bettman, who facilitated a deal between the City of Edmonton and Oilers ownership that led to the construction of the $480-million arena, had one caveat, though. He wants the Ice District, the entertainment district that surrounds the arena, to be completely finished before the league brings its event to town. The area is currently under construction.

“I would like to see the entire Ice District complete, because when we do that and when we show off Edmonton and the Ice District to the world, I would like it to be done,” said Bettman. “Depending on the pace of construction and everything else, we would be thrilled to bring our league events here.”

The commissioner also offered his thoughts on the Oilers, who are enjoying a strong season and are in the hunt for a Western Conference playoff spot.

“It’s a bit of fun to see the team perform better than it has in the last few years in the first year in its new home,” he said. “Maybe some people would say there is a connection between the two.”

— With files from The Canadian Press

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