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Just two outdoor games on the 2014-2015 schedule?

While Paul and I were hiding from World Cup Tweets (Paul isn't a soccer fan, and I'm...Not thrilled with FIFA being FIFA), Sportsnet's John Shannon posited an intriguing tidbit, as noted by Pro Hockey Talk's Mike Halford:

Shannon also revealed that the 2014-2015 season schedule is coming out on Sunday, June 22nd, so I'm guessing that he's seen it.

I wonder whether the "Stadium Series" has been nixed for a year and we'll simply see a Winter Classic and a Canadian-team-participating Heritage Classic, or a Winter Classic and a warm weather-venue game, due to the All-Star Game's presence in late January.

Halford notes that Gary Bettman offered the following comment to the media (during his state-of-the-game presser at the Stanley Cup Final) regarding the NHL's outdoor saturation:

“This year we used those games in a variety of ways. Part of it was promoting us going into the Olympics, part of it was promoting it coming out. And doing it in New York [around the Super Bowl] with two games…we had to do lots of stuff,” Bettman explained. “Our people did an extraordinary job, but we really taxed things to the limit. But also, interestingly enough, the Olympic break let us set up for more games. So, it’ll be more than one and less than six next season.”

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: heritage+classic, stadium+series, winter+classic


George Malik's avatar

Ha ha, I like soccer quite a bit, but the overwhelming gushiness about the World Cup is a bit much even for me.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/16/14 at 10:59 PM ET

Iggy_Rules's avatar

As far as team sports go, Soccer is right at the bottom of the pile with baseball for me. Too slow, not enough action and way too much diving.

I can handle the occasional basketball or football game but soccer and baseball…ugh, spare me.

Of course, since people at work are chatting about it I have the opportunity to appear more productive at no cost by ducking out whenever it comes up. In that regard I don’t mind the world cup wink.

Posted by Iggy_Rules from Calgary, Canada on 06/16/14 at 11:12 PM ET

Iggy_Rules's avatar

On topic, I would be happier with two outdoor games. Six was far too many.

At first I thought your fourth paragraph said Hartford and I got all excited…Hartford! The Whale!

Posted by Iggy_Rules from Calgary, Canada on 06/16/14 at 11:15 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

This is good to hear.  Six games was way too difficult for the NHL and the Classic was a cluster.  It would be nice for them to focus their efforts on a couple games.

Posted by TreKronor on 06/16/14 at 11:31 PM ET

d ca's avatar

I don’t get the whole poor us routine. The NHL made between $20-25M (either $30M or $35M - $10M in costs) off the Winter Classic and an estimated $15M off of the stadium series games ($50M-$35M in costs for the 4 other games). Games in the largest markets (TOR, MTL, NYR, and CHI) make at most $3-$4M per home game. Taxing their resources for the additional profits is exactly what the NHL should be doing on a yearly basis. There are 32 markets (Quebec City and Seattle before you ask) that can be exploited—-strike that—-rotated properly to minimize overkill. The crews should have the experience and the NHL should own the equipment need to ‘produce’ these surfaces easily.

Minnesota (40k capacity Target Field or TCF at 50k) deserves one. San Jose playing at San Fran Giants stadium should be another. Coors Field (the sponsor of the series) should be the next one. All three of those areas could charge premium prices and sell out the games.

In fact, the Colo. Rockies sent Kevin Kahn,  VP of ballpark operations, to LA to watch and document the outdoor game between LA and Anaheim by shadow his Dodger counterpart there. So I don’t know how they wouldn’t be getting a game this year.

Moving the All-Star game to be an outdoor event would be a smart idea.

Additionally, the NHL should also include a full day of hockey on the day after Thanksgiving. Starting with a mid-day Boston vs Detroit, then moving to Dallas vs Minn, and culminating in LA vs San Jose.  And adding a game the day of the superbowl starting at 2:30pm to fill the void and still give plenty of time to watch the kickoff coverage would draw ratings too.

And please, please, please. Start the regular season 2 weeks earlier and end the Cup Finals in May. Not June.

Posted by d ca on 06/17/14 at 01:55 AM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

While Paul and I were hiding from World Cup Tweets (Paul isn’t a soccer fan, and I’m…Not thrilled with FIFA being FIFA),

Well you guys are missing out on a massive event. As for the overwhelming gushiness , seeing as you are locals, I suggest turn on the CBC coverage to get away from the over-the-top ESPN drivel.

And please, please, please. Start the regular season 2 weeks earlier and end the Cup Finals in May. Not June.

^^ this. It is so hard to give any thought to hockey after Memorial Day.

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 06/17/14 at 11:38 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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