The city of Pittsburgh is ready for the NHL Draft.
On June 22 and 23 at Consol Energy Center, one of the NHL's signature events will be returning to the Steel City for the first time since the summer of 1997.
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City gearing up for "hockey week in Pittsburgh"
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That year, at the old Civic Arena, the Boston Bruins selected Joe Thornton at No. 1 and the San Jose Sharks chose Patrick Marleau second. The Penguins, who selected No. 17, chose forward Robert Dome.
Penguins GM Ray Shero anticipates plenty of fun and excitement in the week leading up to the draft.
"It's going to be a hockey week in Pittsburgh," Shero said. "It'll be great for fans. The events leading up to the event were something during the Winter Classic. My kids still talk about that. Let's face it, this is for the fans. Yes, it is for the kids being drafted, but we're also celebrating the game of hockey and that's great."
According to Penguins Chief Executive Officer David Morehouse, the draft should generate approximately $9.1 million in direct spending. The 2011 Bridgestone Winter Classic, featuring the Penguins and Washington Capitals, produced $22 million.
"So in the last couple of years, we've brought a lot of revenue to Pittsburgh," Morehouse said. "The 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 want to attract more and more events: We hosted the Winter Classic last year, will host the draft this year, and now I'm going to be bugging the Commissioner [Gary Bettman] about hosting the All-Star Game."