The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/20/11 at 02:53 PM ET
DetroitRedWings.com’s Jake Duhaime and Yahoo Sports’ Sean Leahy offer some thoughts about the NFL’s 2012 schedule as it relates to possible Winter Classics in Detroit and elsewhere:
Though a small news item that flew under the hockey radar yesterday may have a big role in next season’s buzz. The Wings may have cleared a key hurdle in hosting the 2012 Winter Classic. Sean Leahy of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy blog has the breakdown of the NFL schedule that nobody else has, specifically, who will be using a stadium on New Year’s Day and who won’t be.
New Meadowlands Stadium and Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, long seen as future Winter Classic destinations, will be hosting NFL games on January 1st. Yankee Stadium, also seen as a potential site, will be in the second year of a bowl game agreement. And after the Metrodome roof collapse last season, TCF Bank Stadium may have an emergency plan, but it might not have the cache of other locations and matchups.
With Pittsburgh and Washington having played in the game in 2011, one must imagine that Heinz Field, FedEx Field, and Beaver Stadium in Happy Valley would be out of the mix. Chicago’s Soldier Field is not being used, but with Wrigley Field hosting the game in 2009, it would be hard to expect such a quick return.
Of course, we’re simply speculating, but between Michigan Stadium, Comerica Park, an original six club, and a strong DMA TV market, the idea of spending the start of 2012 outdoors isn’t too far fetched, like say, my New Year’s resolutions.
The Wings simply aren’t first on the runway here—the Rangers are, complications included, and it’s entirely possible, if not probable, that the NHL may have to give Canadian franchises an olive branch by bringing them into the Winter Classic mix, with the Heritage Classic being played on U.S. soil instead. It’s a wonderful thought, but I get the feeling that the Wings won’t host a Winter Classic any earlier than 2014.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.