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Toronto wants to host the Winter Classic

Jan 3, 2012, 7:16 PM EDT

Toronto Maple Leafs v Florida Panthers Getty Images

In a bit of breaking news, it’s come to light that the Toronto organization would like to host a Winter Classic. In related news, water is wet and the Boston Bruins are good at hockey.

There are rumors aplenty that Detroit has the inside track for next year’s Winter Classic—but for now, they are just rumors. Gary Bettman addressed some media members yesterday and narrowed it down to cities that haven’t already hosted a Winter Classic and teams that could handle the climate requirements. In other words, there are 25 teams that are hopefully that they can make some kind of pitch to the league. If they can play a game in Las Vegas, then owners would surely want to find a creative way to get in on the action.

One of the ideas floating is that the Toronto Maple Leafs would like to throw their hat into the ring. Brian Burke, as blunt as ever, was straight to the point with QMI Agency today: “We would love to host a game and the league knows it.”

There isn’t a lot of gray area in that statement, is there?

Of course, the players would be all over the chance to play in an outdoor game as well. Leafs rookie Nazem Kadri spoke to reporters, “It’s something that I’ve always watched. I think it would be cool for Toronto to get in on something like that.”

There are about 23 guys on 29 other teams that would agree that it would be fun “to get in on something like that.”  Either way, it’s good to know that the Leafs would be willing participants if the NHL tapped them on the shoulder.  After all, there was that .0001 percent chance that they wouldn’t be interested.

  1. hardheadcountryboy - Jan 3, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    LMAO…..and where are they supposed to host it?????

    • taytay099 - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:05 PM

      Would the SkyDome not work?

  2. hardheadcountryboy - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    BTW – BMO Field too small (23,000) and they will not open the Dome in the winter…so sorry, I just don’t see it happening here…..

  3. nickwire - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    i dunno, i think it would be great at BMO. the crowd would be close. thats always the problem with the baseball parks, the crowd is a mile away

  4. bigtganks - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    Canucks v Blackhawks at Qwest Field in Seattle.

    • t16rich - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:16 PM

      Really? You could do Coyotes vs Panthers in either teams city with much more fan interest then Canucks vs Blackhawks.

  5. alexo0 - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    The game will never head north of the border. I’d be surprised if it ever left the northeast.

  6. muckthefets23 - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    It’s already left the northeast, it’s been played at wrigley, and why not Denver? Maybe Avs vs. Red Wings for example….

    • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:59 PM

      I think the Av’s are further away from hosting this than people think, they are losing too many games and the market isn’t “that” big in Denver.

      I have a feeling you’ll be seeing the same old teams for awhile till Minnesota brings in their young players and they start to perform (3 years from now) and others that fall in that same situation… For now, they’ll keep it out east or add Detroit / Chi because they have the market and talent “people” want to watch.. sucks but it is what it is

  7. muckthefets23 - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    Unfortunately you’re probably right and I made the suggestion more based on climate rather than ability to win games. However I do think Minnesota will be good in a few years and that would be a good place to hold it as well even though it’s not the largest market outside of the northeast.

  8. foodforthesoul28 - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    I think the NHL should come up with a system for rotating teams because it is not fair for the same teams to constantly be in it. Maybe something like the Stanley Cup Champs are in it Automatically and then a drawing for the opponent. If the opponent was in the Classic within two years prior to the this one then that teams tag for the drawing would not be placed in the drawing, giving all teams a chance to play in it. Deff would have to keep it in the northern part of the States or at least somewhere cold in the southern part. Any other suggestions? Thoughts?

  9. nflinla - Jan 4, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Why can’t LA host the Winter Classic? Is it that it’s 80 degrees in January..

  10. yettyskills - Jan 4, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    Leafs can come to Detroit

  11. rainyday56 - Jan 4, 2012 at 3:31 AM

    The Heritage classic will be played at Canad Inns in Winnipeg before anywhere else in Canada. Bettman is still brown nosing Manitoba.

  12. sbrowncreative - Jan 4, 2012 at 4:46 AM

    I’m American and think its a crime that this game has not included Canadian teams. Why should Detroit get it next year? They already played one. Same with Philly this year. BTW Can’t Montreal host a meeting between a US team and the Habs?

  13. icelovinbrotha215 - Jan 4, 2012 at 7:54 AM

    One has to remember that there are 2 governing bodies that oversee the WC events: NBC and NHL. They both have one thing in common: American entities. I’d be surprised if a Canadian team gets to host such an event let alone participate in one. I don’t think it’s right but that’s the way it is. Michigan seems like the next likely destination. We shall see.

  14. murraychadwick - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure that is why the NHL keeps it within the US and doesn’t have Canadian teams. NBC wants ratings from two US cities. If they have a Canadian team or have it in Canada then that means they only have one guaranteed TV market in the US. I’m in Detroit and I personally would love to see the Wings and Leafs in Detroit next year. The Big House in Ann Arbor is a perfect stadium for the event but Ann Arbor is too far from Detroit for the week’s festivities. Ilitch, who ownes the Wings and Tigers will want it in Detroit at Comerica Park. Which to me makes sense since it is in a stadium district with bars and restaurants. Not to mention he will keep all the money and not have to split it with UofM.

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