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Report: There could be up to six outdoor games next season

Apr 16, 2013, 9:16 PM EDT

Winter Classic Hockey AP

If the rumblings are correct, the NHL might hold as many as six outdoor games during the 2013-14 season.

TSN’s Darren Dreger notes during an “Insider Trading” segment that while things are subject to change, the league could trot out this array of high-profile contests if everything works out (all in 2014):

Jan. 1: 2014 Winter Classic – Toronto vs. Detroit at Michigan Stadium
Jan. 25: Anaheim vs. Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium
Jan. 26: New Jersey vs. NY Rangers at Yankee Stadium
Jan. 29: NY Islanders vs. NY Rangers at Yankee Stadium
March 1: Pittsburgh vs. Chicago at Soldier Field
March 2: 2014 Heritage Classic – Ottawa vs. Vancouver at BC Place

Dreger points out that the Rangers’ duo of outdoor games would mark an attempt to capitalize on a rare cold weather Super Bowl in 2014. The March games hold strategic potential, too, as they’ll be coming after the 2014 Olympics.

Again, he notes that there are some “wrinkles to iron out,” so don’t take this as an official announcement. Still, it’s a bold plan by the NHL.

It might be wise to load up on some quality winter garments.

  1. phipfwe76 - Apr 16, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Way to water it down, NHL.

    The Winter Classic and Heritage Classic are fine, but the other 4 are pointless.

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 16, 2013 at 9:59 PM

      Agreed ! You know they were gonna shoehorn a Pens game in there somehow !

      • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Apr 16, 2013 at 10:17 PM

        Oooooor it could be a way to ensure that the players don’t have to continue to leave salary tied up in escrow.

        Greater revenue, which the outdoor games generate, makes league revenue go up, which in turn forces the league to put less in escrow. PersonallyI had enough of hearing how a bunch of millionaires got pushed around by a bunch of billionaires back in september. This helps solve that problem.

        As for watering down…..increased exposure means more coverage, which in turn means that we hockey fans don’t have to watch our sport get put on the backburner for the start of basball season and football’s offseason. That’s a good thing.

      • cardsandbluesforever - Apr 17, 2013 at 2:27 AM

        if they were going to do a game involving the blackhawks, make it a Blues- Blackhawks game. far more entertaining to watch, these 2 towns and teams hate each other with a passion. the “Black and Blue” days of the late 80’s and early 90’s were pretty freakin epic- even people who didnt watch hockey would tune in just to see what would happen.
        hawks vs pens? BOOOOOORIIIINNNG!

    • blackfoot11 - Apr 17, 2013 at 10:22 AM

      Agreed. Winter Classic in the U.S and the Heritage in Canada. They should either play both on New Year’s Day or play them back-to-back with the Heritage on New Year’s Eve and the WC on New Year’s Day.

  2. ryanoffski - Apr 16, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    It would be cool but then it will take away from the uniqueness of the winter and heritage classics

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:49 AM

      What’s going to really take away the uniqueness is the game in Vancouver, in Vancouver in March odds are it’ll be raining which means the retractable roof will be closed which makes it just another indoor game albeit in a bigger venue.

  3. 67nova - Apr 16, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Have the All Star game outdoors and leave it at that. No one cares about that anyway. Why ruin the product that actually counts.

    • JoeAvg - Apr 16, 2013 at 10:32 PM

      I like that idea! They could have their “draft” right before the game itself, just like a pickup game. That would put some novelty back into it. For me, the outdoor game has already lost it’s appeal. Six games are gonna kill it quick (which I don’t mind).

      Nice use of the noggin 67nova.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Apr 17, 2013 at 2:06 AM

        I like this idea as well!

        I’ll take it one step further. Have all the players put their sticks in the middle and mayor or governor is blind folded and alternates throwing sticks to each side of the ice.

  4. sjsharks66 - Apr 16, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    Now the Winter Classic is just a Winter Game.

  5. govtminion - Apr 16, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    So let’s take everything special about this event and squander it to make a quick couple of bucks.

    Eff you Bettman. I hope you drown in the ‘ice’ at Dodger Stadium.

  6. tdrusher225 - Apr 16, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    Why would they want to water down such a good product? I can handle two, even three, but SIX outdoor games?! Talk about trying to squeeze every last drop out of a good idea.

  7. gbar22 - Apr 16, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    It’s the dumbest plan they’ve had and they have had quite a few. They took something unique and now have made it mundane.

    I won’t be tuning in

  8. sjsharks66 - Apr 16, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    They should have one in San Francisco. During january and right by the ocean. It is freezing.

    I mean they should not have out door games unless it is the winter classic. If the NHL insists on an outdoor California game, be smart about it.

    • pitpenguinsrulez - Apr 16, 2013 at 10:03 PM

      Maybe the Sharks could don the Seals jersey look

  9. pitpenguinsrulez - Apr 16, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    Don’t like it one bit at all. Six games is WAY TOOOOOO MANY!! Waters down the hype known as the Winter Classic but of course money is the greed of many these days in America. Id much rather see the Penguins vs. Flyers at Penn State before the Pens vs. Hawks but Crookman doesn’t understand rivalries let alone hockey. Besides the Pens game the only one id watch is the Kings vs. Ducks at Dodger Stadium just so I can see the players swimming.

    …hopefully Reebok doesn’t come up with a cheesy design for the teams to pick from like they have done for most of them.

    only ones ive liked are:
    2008: Pens
    2008: Sabres
    2009: Hawks
    2009: Red Wings
    2010: Flyers
    2011: Capitals

    why? because they are actually true throwback looks and not a bunch of mashed up eras put into one jersey or that stupid crème color look.

  10. thedavesiknowiknow - Apr 16, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    The Yankees on ice don’t need two, and nobody should want them to get them. The Pens don’t need another. I wish the NHL would realize that the ratings are high because it’s an event; 6 of them is enough to bore a diehard fan. The casual fan barely makes it through the one game- once they see how watered down the sport is. If they must force this on people: 2 games- one east vs east, one west vs west. And it doesn’t have to be the freaking Rangers and Penguins. Make it an event for markets that actually need the exposure.

    • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Apr 16, 2013 at 10:48 PM

      Personally I have no interest in watching the Blue Jackets and Coyotes square off…..sooooo I’ll take a Penguins vs. Blackhawks game.

      But, for those people like you who want to watch the Ducks vs. the Stars, 6 games will allow that to happen.

      It seems fairly evident this will give both of us what we want.

  11. phillyphanatic77 - Apr 16, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    Jeeze, Bettman could not be more transparent in his money grubbing ways. I love the Winter Classic but that is just overkill. And it’s purely for profit. The Winter Classic game feels like a holiday (I know it’s on or around New Years) and this takes most of the allure out of the game. Like others have said they’re watering it down. Not saying I won’t watch the games, but the greed of the NHL never ceases to amaze me.

  12. manchestermiracle - Apr 16, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    A couple of random thoughts (okay, more than a couple):
    -If more outdoor games “waters down” the only current one then maybe it ain’t so great in the first place.
    -Six outdoor games beats the hell out of none, like we ended up with this year.
    -If the proposed outdoor games don’t draw then they likely won’t be repeated. If one outdoor game generates ticket sales and media attention why wouldn’t the NHL want to expand on the idea?
    -Why would any true hockey fan not watch a game just because it is outdoors? That sounds like a whole vineyard of sour grapes.

    Ok, hammer away.

    • valoisvipers - Apr 19, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      Right on the money manchestermiricle.

  13. sheckyrimshot - Apr 16, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    it would have been pretty cool if the six games were hosted by the original six teams.

  14. mnwildfan15 - Apr 16, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    How the hell does Minnesota get left out?? Hell we could still play one here on a LAKE, THIS year!!!

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Apr 17, 2013 at 2:09 AM

      Wildfan because as I have been saying all along this sets up perfectly for Minnesota to host the 2015 Winter Classic.

    • jezza819 - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:12 AM

      I’ve thought that Minnesota/Dallas would be a good winter classic. You would have the North Stars coming back home.

  15. cspsrbums - Apr 16, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    I thought Washington was one team to get the winter classic and what about Columbus who didn’t get it do to the lockout.
    Oh that’s right Pitt needs another one and while we are at it lets give the rangers 2 games.
    What a joke leave it as it is the winter and herratige classic only, and maybe the Boring All star game

  16. edenprairieballer - Apr 16, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    How could you not have one of these games in Minnesota?!

  17. jonkchar - Apr 16, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    come on how could you not want to see Pittsburgh vs Chicago? even before this season

  18. nyrnashty - Apr 16, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Tickets better be cheap at Yankee Stadium, but I’m sure they won’t since scumbags will buy 50 at a clip and sell them on Stubhub for $500 each. Have fun with that dumb people. Never buy from those sites their garbage. Not sure how their even still legal!

    • pitpenguinsrulez - Apr 16, 2013 at 11:30 PM

      couldn’t agree with you any more on that one. that same crap applies for any professional sport team

  19. profsudz - Apr 16, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    The winter classic is something to watch when you’re paralyzed on the couch after a huge night of drinking.

    Not sure what these other 5 serve, other than to dilute the hell out of the novelty

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 17, 2013 at 4:42 AM

      In 2015, Bettman wants to hold the All-Star Game outdoors in the Bahamas.

  20. mmmpierogi - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    As a Penguin fan, kind of scratching my head over the Pitt/Chicago pairing. Other than both being competitive recently, there’s not that much of a history or really anything in common (which you can at least say about the other teams who were paired together in the other five games). I get that there are a million reasons against it that have all been voiced, but if you’re going to have Pittsburgh in one of the games, at least do Pitt/Philly (or really any other division rival) instead of randomly pairing them with someone so that it’s meaningful. Otherwise, let another team have the spot.

    • JoeAvg - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:43 AM

      I’m hoping that will change after this season. Would love to see these two teams going head to head again in the Finals. Perhaps the league is preparing for that possibility as well with this. Plus the alumni game can bring back the ’92 teams. It’s the only reason I can think of.

  21. modellforprez - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    forget arenas they should just have every team play every game every year you know OUTSIDE where it belongs. now obviously all teams cant do that but it would be cool

  22. blomfeld - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    To Hell with Six … Make it Sixty !!!!!!!!!!!

    This is a “fantastic” development and just another testament to the “brilliance” which is Gary Bettman! Hockey is an “indigenous” game which was founded on frozen lakes and ponds here in North America. And therefore any attempt to return the sport to a more “natural” setting is to be applauded, not frowned upon like so many of you “new-age, air conditioned, mall queens” appear to be doing! The financial aims of this enterprise are a given, however I’m most impressed by Gary’s “innate” ability to seek out opportunity where others are blind. The funny part however, is that this abrupt 180 degree turn by Bettman from “sunbelt hockey” to the “real deal”, leaves most of you “new-age, air conditioned, mall queens” completely speechless! … and I personally love when things like that happen! :)

    • profsudz - Apr 17, 2013 at 2:24 AM

  23. greatminnesotasportsmind - Apr 17, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    Folks here’s why Minnesota doesn’t have a game next year. They are getting the 2015 Winter Classic. My guess it’s going to be at Target Field vs St. Louis.

    First of all St. Louis will be division rivals.

    Secondly, St. Louis has a ton of Minnesota/Wisconsin ties on their roster. Although all may not be on their roster 2 years from now: David Backus, Minneapolis and Minnesota State, Jamie Langenbrunner, Cloquet, Jordan Leopold, Golden Valley and university of Minnesota, Brian Elliott, Wisconsin, TJ Oshie, Warroad, Kevin Shattenkirk, Shattack.

    The reason Minnesota hasn’t had one yet, is because they hadn’t been a playoff team. That is most likely going to change this season.

    Lets not forget, during the CBA negotiations, Bettman’s biggest supporters was Minnesota’s owner Craig Leipold. It feels like both are willing to bend backwards for each other.

    Wild had a lack of superstars is another reason why they hadn’t gotten one. Leipold signed off on paying 2 players 196 million over 2 seasons. Oh and added an all-star in Jason Pominville. I think part of the reason why they were willing to give up as much as they did for him, because after next season, they are going after his former teammate hard, in Thomas Vanek. Worked out well last time they traded for a free agent to be friend. That is the reason why Minnesota traded their best defenseman (Nick Schultz) last year to a division rival for Tom Gilbert (Parise’s childhood friend). Before you ask how can Minnesota afford Thomas Vanek, Dany Heatley’s 7.5 million comes off the books that summer. Maybe he would take a cut to stay. He won’t get what he’s making now on the open market.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Apr 17, 2013 at 8:21 AM

      First off Pominville is a free agent after next year and is probably going to want a raise but that aside, Signing Vanek would be ridiculously shortsighted and put a quick end to the Wild’s run as a playoff team, reason being all of the young players the Wild have playing now and next year will have their contracts coming due, would you rather pay 5 guys big money (Parise $7.5, Koivu $6.7, Pominville $5, Vanek $6, Suter $7.5 for a total of $33 million after roundups with $30 million free for 18 additional players) and run into what the Oilers are going to run into? Or would you rather spread the money around and have an actual team?

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Apr 17, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        Getting Vanek won’t be that hard for the Wild. First of all, Heatley’s 7.5 million comes off the books. The cap is going to go back up. The original cap was 37.5 million, this year it’s 70 million. I would rather pay Vanek the 7.5 over Heatley. Heatley isn’t what he used to be. Still good but nowhere near the 7.5 he’s making now.

        As for Pominville, who’s making 5.3 this season and next. For him wanting a pay raise, wanting and getting are 2 complete different things. Who’s going to pay a 32 year old a lot of money. He’s probably in the range he’s making now.

  24. jakreidler - Apr 17, 2013 at 3:19 AM

    Six outdoor games? Dodger stadium? No Jets/Wild?

    Wait a minute guys.. Could this be a practical joke intentionally leaked by Bettman and his lawyers now that they have all this free time?

  25. capsfan19 - Apr 17, 2013 at 6:48 AM

    NONE IN WASHINGTON. Screw you nhl

  26. ipaintrinks - Apr 17, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    boy would i like to see the refrigeration costs for an outdoor game in LA. sunshine and warm weather don’t make a very good sheet of ice but hey what do i know im only certified by the nhl to be an ice technician.

  27. dcbear90 - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Blackhawks should be playing the Blues period. Since when are the Pens and Hawks big rivals? Just another excuse to get Cindy on the big stage. If I want to see the Penguins play, I’ll just switch on NBCSN any given day of the week.

  28. faceoff77 - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    Is it still an outdoor game if B.C Place is indoors?

  29. mogogo1 - Apr 17, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    They’re walking a tightrope here: Have too many and the uniqueness is gone…but the two current Classics are about the only time most casual sports fans even think of the NHL, so it’s clear why they want to have some more.

  30. socalavsfan - Apr 17, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    In this thread: Fans bitter their team didnt make the cut.

  31. ndrick731 - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    The owners are getting everything they deserve by having that jackass Bettman as commissioner. He will do anything he can to destroy the league. Nothing like taking something that is unique and making it an everyday occurrence.

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