Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: winter classic
Amongst this morning's trade scuttlebutt from the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch:
Toronto GM Dave Nonis quietly has been working the phones. Didn’t get the sense from anybody that the Leafs are on the verge of making a deal. The Leafs may have been trying to gauge interest in winger Joffrey Lupul before he was hurt last week and was sent back to Toronto for further evaluation. He has a $5.25 million cap hit through 2017-18 and can’t be moved until he proves he’s able to stay healthy.
Buffalo GM Tim Murray has been busy trying to see if anybody will take winger Chris Stewart off his hands sometime soon. These have been going on for months, but Murray is demanding a good return and won’t make the move until he gets it. The Penguins aren’t in the mix anymore, but the Flames, Bruins and Senators have spoken with Murray.
A league executive on trade talks: “Wait a few weeks until teams start falling out of the playoff race, then trades will happen. Until then, it could be quiet.”
After all the rave reviews about Washington hosting the Winter Classic Wednesday, there is talk the next stop could be Winnipeg next season. A visit by Jonathan Toews and the Blackhawks might be a nice fit as an opponent.
Garrioch continues, discussing Sergei Bobrovsky's fate, the Oilers' possible machinations and whether the World Juniors could have an effect on the Eichel-vs-McDavid derby (the answer should be "no, short tournament")...And what is it for Chicago, first to four?
Some things never change. Ahead of the Board of Governors meetings, quite conveniently so, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president Tim Leiwicke made some rather heated comments suggesting that the Toronto Maple Leafs are slighted by the NHL on a regular basis, as the Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger noted in Twitter and now article form...
“Why there hasn’t been a Winter Classic in Canada is, in my opinion, a mistake and shows a lack of respect to this city...” Leiweke said.
In confirming his attempts to woo all these events to Toronto, Leiweke followed by perhaps making the boldest statement of many bold statements: The NHL would reach unparalleled heights if and when the Leafs compete for — and, in his mind, hopefully win — a Stanley Cup.
“As Toronto goes, so goes the (business) success of the National Hockey League. I firmly believe that,” Leiweke said. “If we could ever lift up that silver shiny thing, the impact we would have on this league would be phenomenal — like nothing we’ve ever seen before. No offence against New York. And no offence against L.A. (But) if the Maple Leafs play for the Stanley Cup, we are going to have 20 million people watching that game.”
"John McDonough is in my ear all the time for anything," Bettman told the Tribune. "He's very passionate about doing as many things from a league perspective with the Blackhawks in Chicago as possible."
That includes the Hawks hosting the NHL All-Star Game or NHL draft. Chicago has not been the site for the All-Star Game since 1991 and never has been the location for the draft.
That could change if McDonough gets his wish.
"There's always the possibility," Bettman said. "We haven't focused on where we're going in the long term but obviously we know there are a lot of great fans in Chicago and the Blackhawks are part of the heart and soul of the city."
Kuc also continues...
The Score's Katie Flynn reports that Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president Tim Leiweke held a press conference regarding MLSE's sporting plans, and the Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger caught some...outspoken...comments from Leiweke:
Leiweke says Shanahan will be patient, won't buckle to public pressure to make changes.
Leiweke says Kessel one of 10 best players in #NHL. "We've only seen a (bit) of how good he can be .. We need 2 build infastructure ard him"
The Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek presented a Canada-centric look at the NHL's 2014-2015 season schedule on Sunday evening, and he revealed that the NHL will probably hold an outdoor game in California for the second consecutive season:
For the upcoming season, there is one Winter Classic – Jan. 1 in Washington, where the Capitals will host the Chicago Blackhawks – but it is believed that a Feb. 21 date between the Kings and the Sharks will also be played outdoors in the Bay Area, after the NHL successfully pulled off an outdoor game at Dodger Stadium last January. The NHL is firming up the details of its outdoor schedule, though it is believed the number of games will be sharply reduced from the six that were on the schedule a year ago, Last year, the NHL flooded the market with outdoor games primarily for two reasons – to generate additional revenues coming out of a lockout that saw the cancellation of 34 games per team; and to draw attention back to the league before and after the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Three of the six outdoor games came just before the NHL took its Olympic break and two others came immediately afterward.
With no Olympics to bother with this year, the NHL All-Star Game returns to the schedule after a one-year hiatus, with Columbus hosting the 2015 event during a four-day between Jan. 22-26.
Continued with more "key dates"...
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.”
Per the NHL, I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing:
The NHL was named Sports League of the Year, the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic was awarded Sports Event of the Year, and Commissioner Gary Bettman was selected Sports Executive of the Year by the SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily at a ceremony held in New York on Wednesday night.
The Sports Business Awards recognize excellence and outstanding achievement in the sports industry for the period from March 1, 2013 through Feb. 28, 2014.
So, y'know, after lockout #3.
The NHL was chosen from six nominees for Sports League of the Year, including, in alphabetical order, the Atlantic Coast Conference, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, NASCAR, and the PGA Tour.
The 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, which featured the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium on Jan. 1, was chosen from five nominees for Sports Event of the Year, including the 2013 Breeders' Cup World Championships; 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open; The ONE: Mayweather vs. Canelo, presented by Showtime Networks in partnership with Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions; and Super Bowl XLVIII.
Press release? You betcha!
We often hear various versions of how hockey is just a game.
That these players should let go of some of their egos because they are playing a kids game for a living that people become too passionate about JUST a game; but hockey is much more than just a game.
Darren Helm acknowledged my existence..... I love my life.... pic.twitter.com/5NAwo6VAJJ— Tascherflow (@Taschereau17) January 1, 2014
I have spent most of my day driving around Lower Michigan. Made my way to Ann Arbor this morning where in just a few more days the Detroit Red Wings will face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2014 NHL Winter Classic.
Took a few shots from around Michigan Stadium (The Big House) while I was there.
Now that it is official that the Washington Capitals will host the 2015 Winter Classic more questions have risen:
Where is the game going to take place?
Who will the Capitals play?
What are the events for their Fan Festival?
Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: boston+bruins, chicago+blackhaawks, chicago+blackhawks, detroit+red+wings, flyers, minnesota+wild, montreal+canadiens, nationals+park, nhl, washington+capitals, winter+classic, winter+classic+2015
The Washington Capitals announced today at their Capitals Convention that they will host the 2015 Winter Classic.
January St 2015 the Washington Capitals will host the next Winter Classic. According to Ted Leonsis an opponent and venue is yet to be determined. Nationals Park and FedEx field are two of the front runners for venues for the game.
from Ted Leonsis of Ted’s Take,
I appreciate NBC and NBC Sports and Comcast as partners to the NHL.
Recently one of their columnist’s wrote an article that stated the Winter Classic would be coming to Washington DC in 2014. And that – as an out of the box idea – it could be played on the National Mall. Unnamed sources were used as the quotes in the story.
This article has activated a series of emails to me about ticket availability; and suggestions about venues; pricing; demands on seating locations and like-minded communications.
So – to set the record straight – there has NOT been any communication to us on a formal basis as to a Winter Classic coming to DC in a specific year. I have been told that the Winter Classic will NOT be coming to DC next year though. I have also been assured that because of the size of our fan base – and the beauty of our city – that a Winter Classic would come to Washington DC; at some point in the future. And that is good enough for me.
from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot,
Pat Sajak, who celebrated his 30th anniversary as the host of the game show “Wheel of Fortune” last week, holds another proud distinction: he has attended every N.H.L. Winter Classic. He plans to be in the crowd at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on Monday, when the Flyers host the Rangers in the fifth annual outdoor event.
Q. You and your son, Patrick, have been to every Winter Classic. Can you give us a capsule review of each one?
A. Buffalo was a perfect snow-globe kind of day. There were 70,000 people in the stands, temperature in the 30s, a sprinkle of snow. The N.H.L. struck gold — it was as if they’d brought in a Hollywood set designer to do it. Then Chicago, Wrigley Field. For an event in its second year, it felt like it was in its 50th year — it had become a tradition that quickly. In Boston, it was the same feeling. What strikes me most is that I’ve seen one game in my life at Fenway Park, and it was a hockey game. Pittsburgh last year, the league showed its flexibility by overcoming bad weather, rain and warm temperatures, moved it to night, and it was perfect.
The Penguins have announced their third jersey schedule, but what is more interesting is the fact that they have made last year’s Winter Classic dark blues the official third jersey. That won’t sit well with many fans who were a bit disappointed with the jerseys upon their unveiling last fall.
Personally, the more I saw the jersey last season, the more that it grew on me. In fact, I would say that by the end of the season I actually liked it quite a bit.
Rob Rossi has tweeted a comment from Pens’ GM Ray Shero: Shero on #Crosby: “There are going to be some symptoms with this injury, but nothing where he’s had to shut it down or anything.”
* * * * *
Many folks have speculated about Sidney Crosby’s health since his concussion initially occurred back in January. That group contains many mainstream media members, bloggers, radio personalities etc, but all of the hardcore info on the situation has come from the above mentioned entities.
A little hodgepodge of opinion from yours truly today before I jump into the latest installment of our Southeast AHL Affiliate Update later on.
I should start off by saying that, while I’m heartbroken – just shattered – over my beloved New York Jets being ousted from the NFL playoffs last night, a game away from a Super Bowl berth for the second consecutive season, I’m also slightly relieved. Sure, now I’m left to continue to wonder if my dad is right when he encourages me to push my two young sons toward another pro football franchise as their favorite in an effort to save them from perennial Jet torture, but their elimination means I have one less distraction now and can focus on hockey’s stretch run. (Trying to be positive here… Sigh…)
To put that to bed, let’s just say I wouldn’t mind if that team – that football team, remember – hired a hockey guy as their offensive coordinator. The one they have is worthless.
from Greg Wyshynski of PuckDaddy,
According to Sports Media Watch, the 2011 NHL Winter Classic delivered a ratings win for NBC in the coveted adults 18-49 demographic for the Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins in the soggy Steel City, which was rescheduled from the afternoon to 8 p.m. due to weather conditions.
NBC averaged a 1.8 rating among adults 18-49 and 4.56 million viewers in primetime Saturday night (8-11 PM), according to preliminary fast-affiliate data. The network won the night among the Big Four broadcast networks in the demo, edging second-place FOX (1.6). The network finished third for the night in viewership, behind CBS (6.14 mil), and FOX (4.77 mil).
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
It begins each fall with a trickle of e-mails from National Hockey League public relations - a notice here, an advisory there, a teleconference upcoming. The leaves haven’t even begun to turn and already the league is fuelling up the hype machine surrounding the Winter Classic.
By December 1, the volume of promotional material reaches flood proportions, as if the actual regular-season games taking place among teams who have not been designated this season’s chosen ones are merely bouts on the undercard, preliminaries to the main event.
The Winter Classic has been such a runaway success story that it has rendered the meaningless, charisma-free NHL all-star game even more vapid, completely burying it as an item of any significance on the league calendar.
via the NHL,
Firmly established as a New Year’s Day tradition among fans, the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will mark the fourth consecutive season the NHL has played a regular-season outdoor game on New Year’s Day. The Buffalo Sabres hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins at Ralph Wilson Stadium on New Year’s Day 2008, the Chicago Blackhawks hosted the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field on New Year’s Day 2009 and the Boston Bruins hosted the Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park on New Year’s Day 2010.
Two of the NHL’s biggest stars, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, bring their rivalry to the big stage of the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. Their rivalry has blossomed into one of the most intriguing individual matchups in all of sports. Both No. 1 overall draft choices (Ovechkin 2004 and Crosby 2005), the superstars have been linked since they entered the League at the same time at the beginning of the 2005-06 NHL season.
Below is a look at the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic “By the Numbers”:
from Andrew Gross of NorthJersey.com,
The window of opportunity to bring the NHL’s Winter Classic to Yankee Stadium in 2011 has been closed.
In September, the Yankees announced a new college football bowl to be played between Christmas and New Year’s Day. But there was a slim hope that until a television deal was reached, the game could be moved for one year to allow Yankee Stadium to host the annual outdoor NHL game.
But two industry sources said Wednesday that ESPN soon will announce a deal to televise the bowl game, with one source pinpointing the game would be played Dec. 30 with a 2 p.m. kickoff.
“The Yankees are still telling people it can happen but the NHL knows it can’t happen,” one source said.
However, that source indicated there still was interest on the part of the NHL and NBC to have the game in New York.
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN answers some emails…
I’m sorry, but a Winter Classic in Dallas just doesn’t sound right. ... Isn’t the point of the Winter Classic to bring hockey back to its outdoor roots? Cold, snow, a biting wind—that is where hockey started; not in the 60-70 degree heat of a Dallas winter. Not to mention that the Cowboys’ stadium is practically indoors so that kind of puts a damper on the outdoor game thing as well….
LeBrun: I’m with you, I’d rather play the Winter Classic in northern climates, where outdoor hockey actually has a history. But the fact is, this thing is getting so huge, every NHL owner wants a piece of it now. And because of the amazing abilities of the ice plant machine the NHL bought two years ago, it’s believed you can pretty much hold the game anywhere. Eventually, after we’ve had games in New York and Denver and Minnesota and other northern NHL markets, we’re going to have to eventually accept that the Winter Classic will go to more southern markets
from William Houston of Truth & Rumours,
So, a quick post on the disappointing NBC rating for the New Year’s day Winter Classic. The overnight rating of 2.6 was down 10.3 percent from 2.9 a year ago. (A rating is the percentage of potential U.S. households tuned in.)...
The problem is, if you’re NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and desperate to be the person responsible for growing the NHL game in the United States, a close, well played game appeals only to hockey’s core audience. The casual fans couldn’t have cared less. Bring on the snow, and, hey, where are Alex and Sid? There were no big names in this game, which is to say Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby weren’t there.
But let’s not get too serious about the Winter Classic. It’s a gimmick, a novelty that earns some extra money for the clubs, and, in a perfect world, would kick-start NBC’s NHL coverage.
via SportsBusiness Daily (paid sub.),
NBC earned a 2.6 overnight Nielsen rating for the Flyers-Bruins Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Friday, down 10.3% from a 2.9 for the Red Wings-Blackhawks matchup last year, and even with the inaugural Penguins-Sabres Winter Classic in ‘08.
Hockey Night in Canada’s Hotstove Panel added their thoughts on the future of the outdoor game, after Hockey Night in Canada analyst Elliotte Friedman shared that the event has generated interest as far south as Dallas.
Jerry Jones, owner of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, has expressed interest in hosting the NHL’s Winter Classic at the new Cowboys stadium, Friedman said.
“It would be a huge financial windfall, but of course, it wouldn’t be a true Winter Classic,” said Friedman.
The latest Winter Classic matchup, between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park on New Year’s Day, was widely acclaimed as the best in the event’s three-year history.
Major networks and the NHL are now more excited about the Winter Classic than the Stanley Cup playoffs, said host Ron MacLean.
continued and LeBrun mentioned during this segment that Thrashers GM Waddell wants an answer on the Kovalchuk contract situation by Monday.
added 10:46pm, Watch tonight’s Hotstove segment below…
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,
From Wednesday’s practices in the snow to Marco Sturm’s overtime game-winner, the 2010 Winter Classic was everything the NHL hoped it would be—and more.
It showcased the game’s speed, skill, brutality and brawn.
But most of all, it brought a much-needed element of fun to a sport that too often is viewed by the general sporting public as vanilla.
“It was a great showcase of the game,” said Flyers president Peter Luukko, the driving force behind the Flyers’ inclusion in the New Year’s Day event. “Two clubs hitting hard. It was great. It was one heck of a game. I’ve got to think this is everything the league wanted.”
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
“We could do lots of these,” Bettman said. “But nobody is suggesting that is the right answer at this point.”
The NHL is planning to continue the tradition for now, and will begin next week to reviewing bids for next year’s game. The league is also looking at the possibility of a second game between two Canadian teams.
“But that’s not even a done deal yet,” Bettman said.
Here is a list of some of the American venues that USA TODAY hockey writer Kevin Allen would like to see given the opportunity to host Winter Classics.
Yankee Stadium: Baseball stadiums seem to provide a more picturesque setting and there are multiple matchup possibilities. With John Tavares now on Long Island, a New York Rangers vs. Islanders matchup has appeal, as does Rangers vs. any Original Six team or Rangers vs. Flyers.
Michigan Stadium: Whenever the NHL wants to pack more than 100,000 into an arena for an outdoor game, they just have to announce the Toronto Maple Leafs will play the Red Wings in the Big House. There will be as many Maple Leafs fans as Red Wings fans. They will sell 110,000-plus tickets.
All the hype is over, now the puck drops between the Flyers and Bruins.
Enjoy the game!
Many of the NHL.com staffers are contributating to the Boston Baked Blog.
Keep up to date with everything going on at Fenway Park.
Also, the NHL Network is now live from Fenway until 12:30pm ET, then of course NBC, CBC & RDS take over at 1:00pm ET.
from Ryan Lambert of PuckDaddy,
Shawn Thornton knew the question was coming.
“Oh God,” he sighed, obviously exasperated, “here we go.”
No, there has never been a fight in a Winter Classic, or the Heritage Classic for that matter. No, there’s never even been anything approaching a dustup. The closest anyone has gotten is a pair of matching roughing penalties in the Heritage Classic between Francis Boullion and Jason Chimera. It was real exciting stuff.
So hockey fans are waiting for that historic first fight. And the media talks about it. Dan Carcillo said his team wasn’t ignorant to the talk. But that doesn’t mean players are making plans to fight like it’s seventh grade meeting by the flagpole at recess.
“I don’t know,” said Thornton. “I honestly have never gone into a hockey game thinking about fighting. This is no different. I mean, you guys can ask because it’s kind of one of my roles, but other than you guys bringing it up, I don’t think about it.”
from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,
The Alex Ovechkin-led Capitals were a finalist for this year’s game, but concerns from NBC about Washington’s television ratings and countless other scheduling complications derailed those plans.
Boudreau and the Capitals might not have to wait much longer, though. A league source with knowledge of the situation confirmed Thursday that Washington is the NHL’s strongest candidate to participate in the fourth annual game next New Year’s Day.
“The league will be looking to work around the Capitals to get them into this game,” said the source, who requested anonymity because league executives have not yet begun formal discussions for the 2011 Winter Classic.
Those talks will begin in earnest after the Olympic break in February, but the Capitals have plenty of reason to feel confident about their chances.
from Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe,
Putting the Bruins in the Red Sox locker room guarantees new standards for civility and accessibility in the 97-year-old clubhouse. It also means the polite hockey guys have to walk down 13 steps to get to the dugout runway. At the end of the long tunnel, it’s another four steps to the dugout floor, then five steps to the playing surface. Skate guards are required.
Boston’s ancient, beloved ballpark is ready for hockey. The indoor batting cage behind the Red Sox dugout has been converted to a hockey shop with skate sharpeners and propane torches. Retired Bruins numbers have been attached to the right-field facade alongside the Red Sox numbers. Bobby Orr walks hand-in-hand with Joe Cronin (both No. 4). Same for Cam Neely and Carl Yastrzemski (No. 8), and John Bucyk and Ted Williams (No. 9).
Orr has his own stall and nameplate in the Red Sox/Bruins locker room. It’s a locker last used by John Smoltz. Shawn Thornton was issued David Ortiz’s locker, which makes some sense, but how do you figure Zdeno Chara dressing in a front of a stall that belongs to J.D. Drew? Think the big fella knows about J.D.’s reputation?
The standings on the Green Monster look strange. It’s weird to see “Buffalo,’’ “Ottawa,’’ and “Montreal’’ under the heading of “AL East,’’ but it’s nice to have Baltimore erased entirely for a few days.
from Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star,
Friday’s NHL outdoor game at Fenway Park is creating a fair bit of excitement around the CBC.
But as much as Hockey Night In Canada executive producer Sherali Najak is looking forward to using his Green Monster camera and capturing the history of the first NHL game played in the house that Ted Williams built, there’s one thing that would make it even better for him and the CBC: another game in Canada.
“That would make a huge difference for us,” Najak says, recalling the initial outdoor game in Edmonton. “The buzz on Canadian soil is always more special for Canadian fans.
“Hockey is our game and people will watch regardless. But when you take over an NHL city with an outdoor game, it’s something special.
“I think the country deserves a game here.”
Looks overcast to me but not much precipitation.
The temperature may be a little high for outdoor hockey, but with the ice system they have in place, it should not be a problem.
Check out the Weather Channel for more…
When is a hockey game two periods instead of three?
Worst-case scenario: possibly New Year’s Day at Fenway Park.
A league source confirmed to ESPN.com on Thursday that it is possible the Winter Classic could only go two periods if the weather doesn’t cooperate and the game would still be deemed official.
But that’s only if all else fails.
The league has the same detailed contingency plan it’s had in place for the past two Winter Classics. Snow threatened the 2008 event in Buffalo, N.Y., and there is a chance for frozen precipitation for Friday’s game at Fenway.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
If Chris Rooney hears a fan at the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Friday (1 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS) call out, “Wicked bad call, ref,” he’ll feel right at home.
Rooney, from South Boston, was chosen to referee the game along with veteran Kerry Fraser. New Hampshire’s Brian Murphy will be one of the linesmen, along with Lyle Seitz.
The whole crew is looking forward to the game with great excitement. They know they’ll be part of a rare historical event and they’re soaking up every minute of the pre-game excitement. Thursday, they were asked by NHL ice guru Dan Craig to test the ice and gave him their evaluations.
Earlier in the week, the prediction was rain for the Winter Classic in Boston.
Now, according to the Weather Channel, the rain has turned to snow.
Knock at the door today, delivery for Mr. Kukla. Open the box and a beautiful pair of shoes courtesy of Reebok.
Who knew they made a Winter Classic Shoe, and the perfect size too?
See another image below…
Paul Boyer, equipment manager for the Detroit Red Wings, tells us how the team prepared for the Winter Classic last year.
from Dan Shaughnessy at Sports Illustrated,
The NHL rarely gets it right. Professional hockey is a consensus Number Four (and we don’t mean Bobby Orr 4) whenever we get around to ranking sports that grip the American mind. Like Ringo, hockey is always the caboose, rarely taken seriously and unable to compete with John, Paul and George.
But now hockey owns New Year’s Day the way baseball owns the Fourth of July and football owns Thanksgiving. Sure, there’s still plenty of college grid action on the first day of the year, but many big bowls have been pushed back in the name of ratings and rankings. The NHL has stepped in with the Winter Classic which will be held this year at Fenway Park, featuring the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers.
Outdoor hockey brings the sport to its roots. Most of the players who make it to the NHL spent time skating on ponds, rivers, or open-air rinks. Putting the world’s best players outdoors is decidedly old school and makes for great television. It’s the Currier & Ives effect. Even the neutral zone trap looks good inside a snow globe.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
Neither team emphasizes rough stuff these days. The Bruins take the eighth-fewest penalties and while the Flyers lead the league, a coaching change earlier this month was made to enforce team discipline. The Flyers have been winning recently by taking half as many penalties as before.
“It’s going to be interesting what style they play on the 1st,” Johnson said. “The Flyers cast themselves in the Broad Street Bullies image when they acquired Chris Pronger, in the mold of the 1970s teams coached by Fred Shero. But you need Bernie Parent to pull that off. Parent isn’t walking out the door of that dressing room and Kate Smith won’t be singing.”
The Flyers roughed up Orr pretty good in 1974 and Johnson hasn’t forgotten it. He also credits the Bruins’ success in Boston for Philadelphia becoming one of the 1967 expansion teams.
“I didn’t like those Flyers teams and what they did to Orr was a shame, like taking a hammer to the Pieta,” he said. “Orr put food on the table of everyone in hockey. It’s competition, but do it clean and proper, not a mugging.
“It is interesting that they chose the Flyers. (Flyers chairman) Ed Snider saw the success and appeal of the Bruins. In that era, we had the Celtics winning championships and the Bruins usually failing to make the playoffs, but the Celtics averaged 8,000 fans and the Bruins sold out the 13,909-seat Garden every game.
It starts out kind of slow, but gets better…
NEW YORK, N.Y. (December 28, 2009)-VERSUS will drop the puck on 2010 with a 90-minute program on New Year’s Eve, titled NHL Winter Classic Eve Special on VERSUS Presented by Bridgestone. The show, which begins at 11 p.m. ET, will be hosted by VERSUS’ Hockey Central studio team-Bill Patrick, Keith Jones and Brian Engblom-and will air live from a remote studio atop Fenway Park, the location for the third annual NHL Winter Classic game on New Year’s Day featuring an outdoor game between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers.
from Outdoor Hockey In New England,
Do you know why the Detroit Lions host a Thanksgiving game every single year since 1934? Because it was their idea to play an NFL game on Thanksgiving! There is no more impressive backdrop for such an annual event, and the Boston Bruins− a member of the original 6− would be the perfect host for a permanent New Year’s Day game.
“I never imagined I’d be standing out here no, never. This is kind of surreal. You look around and you’re in a baseball park, Fenway Park! Then you look down and you’re on ice. Really unique, that’s for sure.”
-Bobby Orr after skating on the ice at Fenway Park today. More from James Murphy at NHL.com.
This was pretty popular on KK last season so I am adding it again, which allows people to check the progress as the NHL prepares Fenway Park in Boston for the Winter Classic 2010.
The webcam is on 15 minute delay and not much happening right now, but when the boards and ice start going in, it is fun to take a look at what is going on.
See the webcam video below…
It hit the airwaves today.
from John Shannon of Sportsnet,
Creating revenue streams for the league and teams is important, particularly in these trying days of disappearing sponsorship dollars. But just adding games won’t necessarily add extra dollars, but it will dilute what has already been created.
That means play one game – and one game only - on Jan. 1.
There are forces within the league that would like one, two, maybe even three more games. And it’s not just the “New York office” wanting these things. It’s no secret that Montreal wanted to host a game at Olympic Stadium. And there was a lot of discussion of a Toronto-Calgary game at McMahon Stadium. But the league and the teams have to show some level of composure and realize what is best for the game.
And what is best for the game is just one game on Jan. 1.
from Dave Curtis of the Sporting News,
The expected bowl affiliation shakeup of 2009 started last week with news of two major changes that will come at the end of the 2010 season. The Big Ten likely will send a team to the Gator Bowl starting in January 2011, and the Pac-10 reportedly will ship its runner-up to play in the Alamo Bowl beginning in December 2010.
More minor changes will follow in the coming months. Three questions and themes off the alterations in college football’s postseason:
What’s happened to New Year’s Day? The BCS no doubt has stripped some stardust from Jan. 1, which college football once owned. And though the Rose Bowl still stands as a ratings giant, the day’s early bowls fight the NHL’s Winter Classic for eyeballs.
continue for more college football talk…
Anyone remember all outcry when the NHL announce the Winter Classic a few years ago? Looks like they were right.
NEW YORK (July 15, 2009) – The National Hockey League’s annual outdoor game will return on New Year’s Day with the Boston Bruins hosting the Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park—home of the Boston Red Sox—in the 2010 Bridgestone/NHL Winter ClassicTM. The Eastern Conference rivals will face-off at 1 p.m., ET in the classic, which received the SportsBusiness Journal “Sports Event of the Year” award for its inaugural edition in 2008.
“A unique event deserves a unique venue, and we are delighted the Bruins and Flyers will renew their rivalry with the ‘Green Monster’ providing the backdrop,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “We welcome our fans, our teams, our sponsors and the great city of Boston to this annual celebration of our sport.”
The NHL is holding a press conference today at 2pm ET to announce the Winter Classic Game at Fenway Park. Representatives from the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers will be on hand and the press conference can be seen on the NHL Network and NHL.com will be streaming the event too.
Also, the schedule for the 2009-10 NHL season will be released later today.
added 10:59am, Schuyler Baehman is Twittering from Fenway and taking some cool pictures too!
Watch the press conference from Fenway Park below…
added 2:07pm, Bettman noted NBC/NHL contract extended for 2 more years.
note: original post was 10:04am this morning.