What's next for the Winter Classic?

The Winter Classic is an event every fan should see, but for it to move from novelty to tradition, location and matchup are key.

On Friday night, a few of us in the newsroom were kicking around those two factors, and here are the top three games I’d like to see.

TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minn.: If there was ever a site that screamed for something like an outdoor game, it’s the “State of Hockey.”

The new home of the Golden Gophers will open later this year, but there is little question an outdoor game would work here. When it comes to hockey – regardless of age of gender - Minnesota may as well just be another Canadian province.

MATCHUP: Minnesota Wild vs. Dallas Stars. The Gopher State’s new team meets the one it abandoned to head south. Too perfect.

Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y.: You cannot have an event like this without playing it once in the world’s largest media market, and there’s little doubt that New York City knows how to throw a party.

I would be stunned if the center of the hockey world on Jan. 1, 2010 wasn’t here.

MATCHUP: New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders. While facing another Original Six club like the Canadiens or Bruins speaks to some romantic ideal, there's not much that can begin to compare to this rivalry.

INVESCO Field at Mile High, Denver, Colo.: Not quite ideal at this time because the Avalanche aren’t an elite team or even an up-and-coming one. Once they get back among the Western Conference’s best, the Mile High City should get one of these games.

I’m thinking 2012.

MATCHUP: Colorado Avalanche vs. Washington Capitals. If it were a decade ago, I would say the Red Wings would be a perfect fit here. Since Montreal _ the Avs’ former rival when they played in Quebec City – was in the Heritage Classic in 2003, I would say get the Capitals in there to show off Alexander Ovechkin’s skills.


Matthew Persico said...

Being a Yankees fan, it's kind of hard to type the next line, but if your criteria include "stature" of venue, I think you need to include Fenway real soon.

Matthew Persico said...

Maybe the Ranges should play the Devils since the Islanders suck so much these days. Can't wait to hear "POTVIN SUCKS" from 55,000 people!

"Igor" said...

40818 at Wrigley ... I'd say 60-40 Blackhawks' fans.