The Hurricanes and the NHL, led by Commissioner Gary Bettman, have announced that Raleigh will host the 2011 NHL All-Star Game next season. Bob is at the press conference and will have more later. For now, here's the release from the team:
CAROLINA HURRICANES TO HOST 2011 NHL ALL-STAR GAME
NHL’s showcase of talent and skill to take place at the RBC Center, Jan. 29-30
RALEIGH, NC—The National Hockey League and the Carolina Hurricanes today announced that the Hurricanes and the city of Raleigh will host the 2011 NHL All-Star Celebration. The 58th NHL All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, Jan. 30, at the RBC Center, and the Honda NHL SuperSkills competition will be held on Saturday, Jan. 29.
"We are extremely pleased that the NHL has selected the Hurricanes to host the All-Star Game," said Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. "This will be a very exciting event for Caniacs to take part in, and I know the Triangle area will be a great host for the NHL and its star players."
The 2011 All-Star Game will mark the fourth time that the Hurricanes have hosted a major NHL event, as the team hosted the Stanley Cup Final in 2002 and 2006, as well as the NHL Entry Draft in 2004. It marks just the second major-league All-Star Game to take place in North Carolina, as Charlotte hosted the 1991 NBA All-Star Game.
"The fact that this event has been awarded to the Hurricanes is a testimony to the strength of the market, the strength of the franchise and, above all, the enthusiastic support the ‘Caniacs’ show for their team," said Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner. "The Hurricanes will provide the perfect showcase as the eyes of the hockey world focus on the Triangle, its fantastic arena and its truly outstanding hockey fans."
The 2011 NHL All-Star Game will feature various hockey-themed events, entertainment and activities. Further details on the 2011 NHL All-Star Celebration, including ticket and broadcast details, will be released at a later date.
Current members of the Hurricanes that have participated in past All-Star Games include Associate Head Coach/Director of Player Personnel Ron Francis (1983, 1985, 1990, 1996), Assistant Coach Tom Barrasso (1985), Captain Eric Staal (2007, 2008, 2009), Alternate Captain Rod Brind’Amour (1992) and Alternate Captain Ray Whitney (2000, 2003). Eric Staal was named the All-Star Game’s Most Valuable Player in 2008 in Atlanta.
((UPDATE from Bob))
I will have thoughts and quotes in a bit, after I have a chance type it all up.
In case you missed it, I recorded the Gary Bettman portion of the announcement. This could be the most the commissioner has ever been cheered for at a public event. Check it out after the jump. (no guarantees about the quality)