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The Confluence

Penguins should pass on Happy Valley possibility

A year has now passed since the inaugural Winter Classic at Buffalo’s Ralph Wilson Stadium (I almost typed Rich Stadium) between the Penguins and Sabres.  It appeared to be a great experience for all those in attendance;  The huge crowd, the snow (although that didn’t help the on-ice conditions), and of course, the game itself.

Now that Winter Classic II between the Wings and Blackhawks has passed, and it certainly appears to have been a wonderful success as well, the lobbying from around the NHL has already begun for the possibility of a third installment of the New Year’s Day game.

Comcast president Peter Luukko was quoted in today’s Philadelphia Daily News that “We [the Flyers] are very interested in being a part of the Winter Classic,  We have already expressed our interest to the league. It really is a unique event that we would love to be a part of.  We have talked to the league and the Penguins about playing at Penn State or elsewhere.”

Well, that’s fine and dandy, it’s not exactly new news that the Happy Valley matchup is being explored.  But let me just opine that if I had any input on it for the Penguins, and of course I don’t, I’d say “thanks but no thanks”.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it’d be a great experience again.  And with somewhere around 107,000 to 109,000 seats, hey even I might be able to get tickets this time.

But this isn’t a debate on whether it’d be a good game again.  This is about the NHL and what should be its attempt for positive exposure for the entire league.  And as a Penguins fan and blogger, I’m perfectly fine with saying to give the game to someone else, for a change.  There are plenty of teams, from decent TV markets (because I know that’s a consideration) that should be given the opportunity to play in this unique game.  The last couple of seasons have seen the Penguins play numerous times on national TV broadcasts, in the initial Winter Classic and the opening games of the current season in Sweden.

So if the Flyers want to play in Beaver Stadium, great, play the Rangers, or the Capitals.  You could easily have the Leafs and bring 50,000 fans.  If the NHL wouldn’t want the Happy Valley scenario without the Penguins, have it in Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park.  The point of it is to spread it around.

Just a thought.

Filed in: , | The Confluence | Permalink
  Tags: nhl-hockey, pittsburgh+penguins

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About The Confluence

Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.

Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.

I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes.  I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.

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