Next Year’s Winter Classic

The NHL’s Winter Classic is about to take place on New Year’s Day from Wrigley Field in Chicago. Featuring the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings. But I’m not here to talk about that game, as exciting as it will likely be. Now that game is all about the matchup. And the Blackhawks and Red Wings are pretty evenly matched right now (especially with how hot Chicago is – a franchise-record 9 wins in a row heading into tonight’s game).

The Winter Classic will take place next season (and probably season after season for a while). The outdoor hockey game is a cool thing no doubt, and brining in famous venues from other sports makes it all that more intriguing. Here are a few proposals I have for future Winter Classics.

Boston Bruins vs. New York Rangers from Fenway Park.

It might be a little bit of a rip-off of the Wrigley Field venue, but it would be another Original Six matchup from a historic baseball stadium – and the Bruins are looking like a rising-star team. I think you could also replace the Rangers with the Montreal Canadiens.

Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

I don’t know much about Canadian outdoor venues, but seeing these two teams in a marquee matchup would have to be a good one.

Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues from Minnesota’s new baseball stadium

Hockey is just as big a deal in Minnesota as it is in Canada – have you ever seen The Mighty Ducks? I’m pretty sure it is two more years until this stadium is done, by then I think the Blues will be one of those “rising teams” the NHL could try to pin this game on.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals from FedEx Field.

A roughly 100,000 seat football stadium for a hockey game? Only Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Alexander Ovechkin could sell that one out. The Penguins have already played in a Winter Classic, so I picture maybe 3 years down the line for this one. It would draw some ratings.

Colorado Avalanche vs. San Jose Sharks from Coors Field.

Altitude coming into play with addition of the outdoor elements. I’m unsure about the matchup, but you have to put some of the warm-weather teams into these games at some point. San Jose is really, really good. People would watch them. I know the baseball stadium thing might not stick, but you really only have football and baseball stadiums to pick from for these games.

One Response

  1. I think this year’s Classic is working out better than they thought with the Hawks coming in on such a roll. Hopefully they’ll beat the Wings. I think they were looking at Fenway to do this year’s game, but chose Wrigley instead, but I could be wrong.

    They could do the Toronto game in the Rogers Centre or whatever it’s called now, since that’s a retractable roof.

    I like the thought of a Bruins-Canadiens matchup from Boston with a Crosby-Ovechkin match from anywhere a close second.

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