Saturday, March 12, 2016

Outdoor Games in the 2017 Season

We still have a lot of hockey to be played before this really becomes a general concern to us poolies, but on Wednesday night, the NHL finished formally annoucning all of their outdoor games, which we'll see next season.  In total, we'll get to see four games on outdoor ice and for the first time, there will be two games in Canada this season.

On Sunday, the NHL officially announced that the Heritage Classic will be played on October 22nd in Winnipeg, where the Jets will take on the Oilers in a match-up that takes place before New Year's Day, which I believe is another first for outdoor games in the NHL.

On New Year's Day, we'll have the Centennial Classic, which will go along with the celebration of the Toronto Maple Leafs and their 100 years in existence.  The Maple Leafs will take on a previous outdoor game rival, the Detroit Red Wings, as they played outside a couple of years ago on the same day at Comerica Park.

January 2nd will see the St. Louis Blues host their first outdoor game next season, as theey will set up shop in Busch Stadium, home of baseball's Cardinals, and they'll take on outdoor regulars, the Chicago Blackhawks, in a good Central Division match-up.

Finally, the Stadium Series will keep going on, next season taking place in Pennsylvania, as the Flyers and Penguins will renew hostilities in their cross-state rivalry at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.  This game will also celebrate their arrival in the league, back in 1967, 50 years after the fact.  This game will go on February 18th.

This means that we'll have eight quality teams playing in these outdoor games and I think that could make for good theatre in the hockey pool next year, as a possible mini-game.  As we draw to a close to this regular season, we're starting to think of other neat ways to keep this pool fresh and interesting, especially for those who are not quite in all of the money races, near the end of the year.

More announcements like that are coming this Summer.

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