April 17, 2013 9:00 AM by Smash
By now, everyone is familiar with the Winter Classic played in the NHL each year. After the Edmonton Oilers played the Montreal Canadiens in the first NHL outdoor game in 2003, the NHL made the Winter Classic an annual event played on New Year’s Day.
Beginning next season (I haven’t heard about additional seasons), six NHL games will be played outdoors. The schedule is as follows:
January 1, 2014: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Detroit Red Wings @ Michigan Stadium
January 25, 2014: Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings @ Dodger Stadium
January 26, 2014: New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers @ Yankee Stadium
January 29, 2014: New York Islanders vs. New York Rangers @ Yankee Stadium
March 1, 2014: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Chicago Blackhawks @ Soldier Field
March 2, 2014: Ottawa Senators vs. Vancouver Canucks @ BC Place
This will be a great move in terms of exposure for the League. However, I always liked the idea of one game a year outdoors. It was something to look forward to on New Year’s Day and usually somewhere cold. The idea of a game at Dodger Stadium seems ridiculous.
If you watched the Winter Classic a couple years back against the Capitals and Penguins, you would have noticed the condition of the ice at Heinz Field. It was slush and you could see the players struggling. How Dodger Stadium will be able to have smooth, playable ice is beyond me. Some rinks struggle to begin with it in arenas.
Overall, it’ll be fun for hockey and fans and non-fans alike. I’m sure they’ll all be televised nationally and hopefully introduce more fans to the game.