Six is Plenty

Posted: October 5, 2013 in Flyers

2014_Stadium_Series

The National Hockey League announced this off-season that, in addition to the 2014 Winter Classic on January 1, 2014 between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at the University of Michigan’s Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, there will be 5 other outdoor games this season.

The Vancouver Canucks will host the Ottawa Senators at BC Place in the 2014 Heritage Classic on March 2, 2014. It will be the third Heritage Classic after the first in 2003 in Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium between the Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens and the second in Calgary’s McMahon Stadium between the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens.

This season, there will also be four additional outdoor games, dubbed the “Stadium Series”. It will start on January, 25, 2014 with the Anaheim Ducks taking on the Los Angeles Kings at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. It will be the first time there is outdoor hockey in the Western United States since 1991 when the New York Rangers took on the Los Angeles Kings in a pre-season game at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.

The “Stadium Series” continues the next day when the New York Rangers take on the New Jersey Devils at Yankee Stadium in New York City. The Rangers will take the ice at Yankee Stadium again three days later against the New York Islanders.

The final game will take place on March 1, 2014 at Chicago’s Soldier Field when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Now, I love the idea and novelty of an outdoor game. I didn’t grow up playing pond hockey in the winter, but I do get a sense of nostalgia watching these games.

That being said, I think that six outdoor games is more than enough for one season, and currently, no more outdoor games are scheduled for this season. At this point, that is ok. I understand that the NHL is trying to capitalize on the success of the previous Winter Classics and Heritage Classics, but they can only do it so many times a season.

Don’t get me wrong, I love that the NHL has an annual outdoor game and I don’t mind the idea of  the “Stadium Series”. I am just hoping that the NHL does not over-so it with the outdoor games. If they do, then it could take away from the novelty and grandeur of an outdoor game that the Winter Classic and Heritage Classic have provided.

I don’t have anything against outdoor games, I just don’t want the significance to wear out. It’s too big of an event for that to happen.

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