NHL planning to hold 3 outdoor games in 2017-18

The NHL will once again serve up some outdoor action over the course of its 2017-18 season. As the league prepares its regular season schedule (a task which has involved preparing two schedules due to Olympic uncertainty), Gary Bettman revealed that three outdoor contests are expected to be held in the new season.

The three outdoor games are supposed to take place regardless of the NHL’s decision to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

That being said, none of the three games are finalized.

It’s safe to assume that the league will announce its outdoor games as soon as the venues and teams are secured in order to ramp up the marketing machine. Based on the NHL’s track record, plan on seeing at least one of the usual outdoor game suspects (Blackhawks, Red Wings, Penguins, Canadiens, Rangers, Flyers) involved.

The decision to hold three outdoor games is actually a slight decrease compared to the four outdoor games the NHL is holding in 2016-17. The change from four games to three wasn’t caused by the NHL suddenly realizing they’re watering down what’s a really strong concept, but instead comes as the NHL Centennial Classic celebrating the league’s 100th season was added in 2016-17 to go along with the Heritage Classic, Winter Classic and a Stadium Series game.

Outdoor games are a huge hit for the host city and the teams involved, but it’s important for the NHL to handle one of its best ideas/assets carefully.

About David Rogers

Editor for The Comeback and Contributing Editor for Awful Announcing. Lover of hockey, soccer and all things pop culture.