That’s right, kids, the Steel City will host the 2012 NHL Entry Draft next year on June 22-23. I call this another badly kept secret because I’d heard about this two days ago, and I’m sure it was floating around the league longer than that. The last time the draft was held in Pittsburgh was in 1997, and that class of draftees included the likes of first overall pick Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Brenden Morrow, Marian Hossa, Jason Chimera, Shawn Thornton and a certain goalie named Roberto Luongo.
I know very little about the 2012 batch of draft hopefuls, so I can’t report yet on who might be there and where they’d go. Actually, that’s up to final rankings and the draft lottery. Hopefully after the World Junior Championships in December, we’ll have a better idea of who might go where.
This will be the first non-playoff related hockey event held in Consol Energy Center since it 2010-11 season debut. The only sad part is that when the new batch of kids come round for the draft, they won’t see the Civic (later called Mellon) Arena, which was the oldest arena in the NHL, sitting across the street – it was demolished last month. The place that Mario Lemieux called home for years is gone *snif*.
Okay, so they have the draft next year and the NCAA Frozen Four in April 2013. May we now have the pleasure of seeing the All-Star Game there as well? I live 90 minutes from Pittsburgh. If they’re not going to have it in Columbus (a three-hour drive), that would suit me just fine.
Wait, do they let fans in to see at least the first day of the draft? Hmmm…