Report: NHL tentatively planning to hold 4 outdoor games in 2016-17

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that the NHL is planning on having four outdoor games next season.

The reported matchups (though not finalized) will see the Detroit Red Wings take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on New Year’s Day, the Chicago Blackhawks will face the St. Louis Blues the day after in the Winter Classic and a game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins will happen outdoors at a later date. The fourth game which was announced is the Heritage Classic matchup between the Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets, October 23rd at Investors Group Field.

“Outdoor NHL games create special memories for the teams, the players, the fans and the host community. We’re thrilled that the Jets, their fans and the City of Winnipeg will launch the 2016-17 NHL outdoor season with the 2016 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ at Investors Group Field,” Gary Bettman said in a press release

Winter Classic, Heritage Classic, whatever you want to call it, it seems the NHL continues to be keen on having outdoor games, despite fan fatigue. The games are undeniably a great experience, and it’s fun to see the festivities and the reunion games, but at this point they’ve gone from being something special, to something that’s skippable unless you’re cheering for one of the participants.

I’d be OK with reverting to two outdoor games and mixing up the particpants every season so that everyone can enjoy them. Otherwise, further oversaturation will set in.


About Liam McGuire

Social +Staff writer for The Comeback & Awful Announcing.