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Bettman: Flyers-Caps fights not suspendable

| Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, 9:36 p.m.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Saturday he was not pleased with the violent turn of a game between Washington and Philadelphia on Friday night.

“It hasn't been (part of the NHL),” Bettman said of the 1970s-style melee orchestrated by the Flyers in a 7-0 home loss to Washington on Friday night. “It's something we're going to keep an eye on and take a look at.”

The Flyers amassed 99 penalty minutes, including three game misconducts and five fighting majors. No suspensions were handed out by the NHL Department of Player Safety, which Bettman praised for its handling of supplemental discipline for illegal hits.

“There was no rule violated that warranted a suspension,” Bettman said of the fight-filled third period, “but it's something that we have to look at and see what, if anything, needs to be done about it.

“It's something that I'm sure will be a topic of discussion.”

Bettman was in Columbus to announce the NHL All-Star Weekend will take place at Nationwide Arena on Jan. 24-25, 2015. The Blue Jackets were slated to host the 2013 All-Star Game, but that was canceled because of the most recent lockout.

There is no All-Star Game in 2014 because of NHL players' participation at the Winter Olympics.

The Penguins have not formally bid for the All-Star Game, although CEO David Morehouse wants to bring it to Consol Energy Center. Civic Arena hosted the All-Star Game in 1990.

“We know what a wonderful market Pittsburgh is for us and what a great building (the Penguins) have,” Bettman said, noting the 2011 Winter Classic at Heinz Field and 2012 NHL Entry Draft at Consol Energy Center.

The Penguins have played before 295 consecutive home sellout crowds and paced NHL and NBA teams in regional TV ratings the past two seasons.

They also have stars in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin signed to long-term contracts.

“There are a whole host of factors that go into league events,” Bettman said. “There's no general rule of thumb (for awarding All-Star Games). We try to do it on a case-by-case basis.”

Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rrossi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.

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