Darren Dreger, noted mouthpiece for the NHL, first reported to TSN last night that the NHL is preparing to announce a series of outdoor games for 2014.
The Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings will play a game at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 25.
During the same week as the Super Bowl, the New York Rangers will face both the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils in two separate games at Yankee Stadium on Jan. 26 and Jan. 29.
Following the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, the NHL will schedule two more games – one that will see the Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Chicago Blackhawks at Soldier Field on Mar. 1 and a third installment of the Heritage Classic, which will have the Ottawa Senators taking on the Vancouver Canucks at B.C. Place Stadium on Mar. 2.
This is in addition to the Winter Classic, which will take place on January 1 between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
While it’s nice that the Blackhawks will be in one of these games, I’m still annoyed by the desperate air of it all. It’s like the NHL realized they (gasp) lost money and sponsors during the lockout, and they’re trying to win them (and their sweet, sweet money) back with all of these outdoor games.
I mean, we all know the Winter Classic is a cash grab, but what set it apart was how special and unique it was. Now, we have brand dilution setting in, and it’s a bit like “Who cares?” The uniqueness is gone.
Not that I won’t go — but only if it’s included in my season ticket package. If I have to do anything besides tear out a ticket and walk into the gates, forget it. I’ll probably have a better view at home, anyway.
Also, will this be the game where I finally see Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews play against each other? Can this actually happen one day before either of these two retire?