May 27, 2010, 9:30 PM EST
Rumors were swirling about next year’s outdoor games for quite some time, but now it’s just about official. There will be two during the 2009-10 season. The first will take the traditional Winter Classic spot on New Year’s Day 2011 and will feature a bout between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals at Heinz Field. Canada will receive a second outdoor game, with the Montreal Canadiens visiting the Calgary Flames at McMahon Stadium sometime in February.
The Winter Classic is one of the league’s flagship moments, transcending the sport with casual fans as much as – if not more than – the All-Star Game and Stanley Cup finals. Some people might be upset that the Winter Classic will feature Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin’s teams, but I look at it as more or less inevitable.
And, really, if the event keeps drawing eyes and widespread media attention, then the New York Rangers of the world will get their due. So, just relax hockey diehards. Justice will come your way soon enough.
Meanwhile, the rest of us can just enjoy the show.
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head 154
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller 98
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ 120
- Lecavalier out 3-4 weeks with non-displaced fracture in back 8
- Islanders players hold closed-door meeting after ninth straight loss 15
- Penguins’ Neal has phone hearing for knee on Bruins’ Marchand 90
- Shawn Thornton confirms hearing with NHL Department of Player Safety (Updated) 88
- Video: Penguins’ Neal knees Bruins’ Marchand 69
- Penguins announce Brooks Orpik ‘alert and conscious’ (Updated) 47
- Shawn Thornton: ‘People could probably criticize that I’m a little too honorable’ 78
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (182)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (154)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (128)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (120)
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller (98)