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NHL announces Winter Classic start time moved to 8 p.m.

Dec 31, 2010, 4:57 PM EDT

Winter Classic Hockey

The NHL is delaying the start time of the 2011 Winter Classic. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly broke the news on the NHL Network that the Winter Classic start time would be moved to 8 p.m. on Jan. 1 because of warm weather and the threat of rain. The possibility of a time change had been talked about all week and discussion picked up even more today when the weather forecast didn’t improve at all.

As for the competition the Winter Classic will now face in prime time TV, with it being college football bowl season, the main competition is the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl featuring Oklahoma and UConn. While delaying the start of the game is a bit of a bummer, going up against that bowl game in particular is a bit of a blessing in disguise.

Rather than an early afternoon start, getting to play the game under the lights at Heinz Field offers the opportunity to make the rink and the game really shine on the big stage.

  1. theolgoaler - Dec 31, 2010 at 5:14 PM

    Considering how few tickets UConn was able to sell… that bowl game won’t hurt the ratings for the Winter Classic much, if at all. (Few people in Oklahoma are NHL fans anyway… living in Arkansas, how well I know that!)

  2. skoobyfl - Dec 31, 2010 at 5:25 PM

    Do they still play Hockey outside of Canada?

    • johninpa - Dec 31, 2010 at 6:38 PM

      Yes, they do. In fact, they play it around the world. It’s even an Olympic event. It would probably be a little too involved for you to understand, that may be why you aren’t familiar with it.

  3. florida727 - Jan 1, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    I wonder if both people watching the Oklahoma – UConn game will channel flip during commercial breaks? At least they’d get a chance to catch some of the hockey game then…

    • clmbusboy1 - Jan 1, 2011 at 5:47 PM

      I believe the ADs of each school were able to make their flights. So now the viewing audience will be exactly zero. :-)

  4. massivedick - Jan 1, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    yes i was torn between watching the Big Ten bowl sweep of the SEC … or the Classic … now i can watch hockey since that UConn/OK is a snoozer

    • allendas - Jan 1, 2011 at 3:06 PM

      yeah you can forget about that sweep

    • clmbusboy1 - Jan 1, 2011 at 5:48 PM

      sweep…getting swept…same thing :-)

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