Some quick takeaways from the draft announcement...
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman:
"Let me start by formally confirming something I believe you've already figured out. The National Hockey League is extremely pleased to announce that our 2012 Draft will be hosted by the Penguins and the city of Pittsburgh here at CONSOL Energy Center."
"Today is about the great hockey tradition in this city. The increasing impact of grass roots hockey here in Pittsburgh. This spectacular venue which will serve as the showcase for the selection of our next generation of great players. And the importance that this event has to the league."
"Before Mario Lemieux was drafted in 1984 there were six indoor rinks in the greater Pittsburgh area. Now there are 24."Pens CEO/President David Morehouse:
"The commissioner now knows that that since we've hosted the Winter Classic last year and the Draft this year, I'm going to be bugging him about the All-Star Game soon. We're looking to get that too commissioner."
"We're very proud of the partnership we have with Dick's Sporting Goods, Reebok, the Penguins and Sidney Crosby
called "Sidney Crosby
's Little Penguins." Last year we provided 1,000 kids with free hockey equipment ages 5-7. That's 1,000 kids with free skates, free helmets, free shoulder pads. It's the third year of program. There have been 2,500 kids that have recieved free equipment. We continue to grow that program. There is more and more demand."
"Visit Pittsburgh tells us that the draft will generate $9.1 million dollars in direct spending. The Winter Classic produced $22 million in spending. In the last couple years we've brought a lot of revenue to Pittsburgh."
"CONSOL Energy Center is living up to its promise. We said we'd have a world-class facility and we do. We said we would host world-class events and we are. We have the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament, the 2012 NHL Draft and the 2013 NCAA Frozen Four hockey tournament. We'll continue to try and attract more and more events."Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl:
"The promise of this building delivering. There were questions about should we build a new building? Should there be public financing involved? What's the benefit to the community. The benefit is there. It's clear from a tax-revenue perspective. It's clear from an events perspective. We're here today to announce the draft. This is more than just a venue where the Pittsburgh Penguins play hockey. This is a place where people come. it's a destination and it's a place where activities take place in."Penguins General Manager Ray Shero:
"This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of people here."
"The Entry Draft really is a hockey convention. What you'll see are future star players, broadcasters, general managers, scouts. It's a great day for the fans. They can see the next up-and-coming players."
"I want to give a shout out for the scouting staffs around the league. There will be over 350 scouts in attendance. These guys work over 365 days a year for these two days. A very important time for scouting staffs around the NHL."
"It's an exciting two days for everybody. We look forward to seeing everybody. Hopefully, we'll fill this building. The excitement of Pittsburgh hockey will be in full effect."