NHL to Hold Six Winter Classics?


Feb. 9, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; General view of Michigan Stadium during an NHL press conference for the 2013 Winter Classic between Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The  NHL says they will play six outdoor games next year calling it the Stadium Series. If that does happen it may indicate that the lockout hurt their cash flow after all. Why  destroy one of the great games? One outdoor game was enough, so why the need to go for a half dozen? That’s five too many trips into the wading pool. I love the Winter Classic, but it’s not a classic if you play six of them in one year. It’s NHL sells out the season in North  America.

How can the NHL put an outdoor game on the west coast? Hockey was born on frozen lakes and ponds, not on beaches. As mentioned, does this mean the NHL may need a financial boost?  Why else would a major sport trash the one game that average fans, and non traditional fans  like to watch?  It seems like if a NHL team wants to host an outdoor game you better win games and drive the NHL’s ratings given this series will feature some of the league’s “best” teams.

1/1: Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium, Detroit Red Wings vs. Toronto Maple Leafs.

This game is the only Winter Classic game I am okay with. It will have two major teams, two team that have a long history of NHL Hockey and a storied rivalry.

1/24: The melt down game:  Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Los Angeles Kings vs. Anaheim Ducks.

~Not a good call. It’s that simple. The NHL has no reason other then money to attempt an outdoor game on the West coast. This game goes just rubs me the wrong way. It infuriates me.

1/26: Yankee Stadium in New York, New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils.

~Why is it the Yankees always seem to find a way into different sports? I have no problem with the Devils playing an outdoor game, but not in the same year as  another game, and not with the Rangers. I strongly believe that there should not be a repeat team unless all other cold weather teams and original 6 have had the chance to play outdoors.

1/29: Yankee Stadium in New York, New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders.

It’s bad enough that the Rangers already have scheduled outdoor game this year, but this is nothing more that putting cash in the NHL’s pockets. Having the Rangers play in what would be there 3rd outdoor game is nothing more then pure greed.

3/1: Soldier Field in Chicago, Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Chicago Blackhawks.

~If the Penguins, and Blackhawks haven’t already played in a Winter Classic this game would make for a nice rendition in 2015. But, why not have the Minnesota Wild  take on the St. Louis Blues? Their location and proximity to each other would make for a great rivalry.

3/2: BC Place in Vancouver, Ottawa Senators vs. Vancouver Canucks.

~I understand the need for two Canadian teams, but  even with the Oilers issues I’d rather see them take on the Canucks. I am in favor of two Canadian team facing off as a Winter Classic, but if my memory serves me correctly isn’t there a Hockey Day in Canada already? Unless this game will be billed as that the NHL is taking away from hockey’s founding country.

I just cannot understand what the NHL is thinking. On second thought, if it’s not broken the NHL will find a way to break it. This is why the NHL is having trouble keeping its big four status.  No other major league would sell out his badly. It’s almost a sin to take a pure game like hockey and sell it for a cash infusion.