Before the 2022 NHL All-Star Skills event, Gary Bettman provided an array of updates about key updates for 2023. The highlights include the Bruins hosting the 2023 Winter Classic, the Florida Panthers hosting the 2023 NHL All-Star Game, Stadium Series, and potential details about Montreal still hosting the 2022 NHL Draft.
Bruins to host the 2023 Winter Classic, Panthers host NHL All-Star Game, and more
While Bettman and the NHL didn’t announce an opponent, the Bruins will host the 2023 Winter Classic at Fenway Park. The exact date hasn’t been announced yet, either.
The NHL noted that “South Florida” (the Florida Panthers) will host the 2023 NHL All-Star Game on Friday, Feb.3 and Saturday, Feb. 4.
In addition to the 2023 Winter Classic, the league provided information about the 2023 NHL Stadium Series. Once again, we don’t know the opponent, but the Carolina Hurricanes will host the Stadium Series at Carter-Finley Stadium (home of the NC State Wolfpack).
While the league didn’t provide as much official information regarding overseas games, Bettman indicated that the NHL will resume that tradition:
Bettman announcements for 22-23: Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Czech Republic will host games. Stadium Series in Carolina, All-Star game in South Florida. Winter Classic at Fenway, date and opponent TBA. #NHLAllStar
— Mike Harrington (@ByMHarrington) February 4, 2022
Attendance questions (especially in Canada), could 2022 NHL Draft move from Montreal?
During Gary Bettman’s NHL All-Star weekend press conference, he emphasized how “devastating” restrictions in Canada have been for teams. He also wondered if such restrictions might prompt the NHL to relocate the 2022 NHL Draft from Montreal to somewhere else.
Gary Bettman says that as of now the plan is still to hold the 2022 Draft with fans at Bell Centre in Montreal this July, but that if COVID restrictions don't lighten between now and then, they'll have to revisit their options.
— Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) February 4, 2022
Between Canadian restrictions and COVID, Bettman stated that he believes NHL attendance is “soft” by about five or six-percent. That said, Bettman also said that he thinks revenue will still remain around $5 billion.
As far as the Arizona Coyotes and Calgary Flames arena situations go, there wasn’t much news. Bettman did ponder the possibility that the Coyotes may not see a huge difference in revenue if they play at a planned ASU arena compared to what the team makes now in a larger building in Glendale.
Naturally, there are a lot of things for the NHL to settle going forward. Nonetheless, Bettman and Bill Daly hammered home the hope for a return to “normalcy,” setting the stage for outdoor games, overseas contests, and more.