Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: heritage classic
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.”
The National Hockey League has been given a polite dressing-down for its English-only anthem during last February’s Heritage Classic, played in Calgary.
Access to information documents obtained by La Presse show that Canada’s Commissioner of Official Languages Graham Fraser wrote to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in April. Fraser told Bettman that while the NHL cannot be forced to feature O Canada in both official languages at games played here, to do so would show respect for all hockey fans.
In the Heritage Classic, the Canadiens lost to Calgary 4 - 0.
To answer the question, I say yes, especailly with Montreal involved.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
The only thing classic about these games was the classic extremes in the weather. Rain and unseasonably warm weather in Pittsburgh on New Year’s Day meant that the NHL had to take out extra insurance to cover accidental drowning.
The Canadiens-Flames game was supposed to provide the players with memories of growing up on outdoor rinks and it did just that. It reminded them of the days when they worked hard to make a team that played in an arena.
While conditions may vary from arena to arena, the state of the playing surface at McMahon Stadium seriously undermined the credibility of the NHL. Hockey at this level should showcase speed and physical play, but the ice was so hard that it was difficult to maintain speed, particularly in the corners. And the bone-chilling cold meant players spent most of the time tip-toeing away from the opportunity to make big hits.
This was a game between two teams battling for playoff berths and they should have played under conditions that reflected the importance of the game.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
So the Calgary Flames wore “vintage” uniforms for Sunday’s Heritage Classic that hearkened back to a past they never had?
Well, it was an appropriate gesture on one important level. The outdoor ice at McMahon Stadium was so bumpy and brittle, and the puck so skittish as it hopped and skipped in every direction, the game looked as if it came right off the NHL Classic Network.
It was played at three-quarter speed, with both teams so intent on not making an error mishandling the puck that not much threatened to crack the highlight reels during the three hours or so it took the Flames to record a workmanlike 4-0 victory over the visiting Montreal Canadiens.
from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,
Wearing a white toque, layers of Habs clothing and covered in a heavy blanket while sitting in the last row of the west stands of McMahon Stadium, the man’s teeth stopped chattering long enough to explain the rationale for enduring such discomfort.
“Anything to watch P.K.”
That’s as in Pernell Karl Subban of the Montreal Canadiens, and on this day, they were words that spoke volumes about the passion of hockey fans as the NHL continued to cash in on this lucrative gimmick of holding mid-winter matches in baseball and football stadiums, hoovering down great mounds of gate receipts each and every time.
Just as had previously been the case in Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Boston, Chicago and Edmonton, hockey customers in Calgary gratefully lapped this stuff up despite the fact a $130 ticket bought a seat 50 yards beyond the nearest crease from which you might see the helmets of a few players, something along the lines of watching a swim meet while underwater.
The NHL being the NHL, more is always considered to be better (think expansion), so it appears the Bettman administration is going to sell this outdoor idea and sell it some more until some city, some day, turns up its nose.
from Bob Condor of NHL.com,
The NHL’s ice guru, Dan Craig, went straight to his main point in a pre-7 a.m. meeting with Colin Campbell, Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations here at McMahon Stadium.
“I told him we were going ‘old-school,’ ” said Craig, referring to the decision to not send out Zambonis to clean and resurface the ice during intermissions of today’s 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic.
Instead, expert skating NHL ice crew members will clear the ice with specially-designed shovels. Craig’s son, Mike, will follow with a thin spray of hot water from a custom-made water-sprayer unit. Craig will guide his son — now there’s a Heritage twist — by walkie-talkie, since it is hard to see where the spray lands with all of the steam created.
from Dave Lozo of NHL.com,
Eight years after it hosted the first outdoor game in NHL history, Canada will finally get a second crack at it.
The Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames—the last two Canadian teams to win the Stanley Cup—will take part in the 2011 Heritage Classic on Feb. 20 at McMahon Stadium, home to the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders. The League will make it official Wednesday afternoon during a press conference to take place on the field that will play host to the NHL’s sixth-ever outdoor game.
continued and you can watch the press conference at 5:00pm ET on NHL.com or the NHL Network.