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2011 NHL Winter Classic Possible Sites and Matchups
2011 NHL Winter Classic
Possible Sites and Matchups for the 2011 NHL Winter Classic
One week ago, the 2010 NHL Winter was played at Fenway Park in Boston with the hometown Boston Bruins winning an exciting 2-1 Overtime contest over the Philadelphia Flyers. I am sure the NHL is consider sites and teams to compete in future contests.
My personal opinion is that 2011 NHL Winter Classic will played in New York, either at new Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, or new Giants Stadium. A great matchup to consider is the New York Rangers versus the Washington Capitals.
I think the NHL would to showcase one of the sports biggest stars in Alex Ovechkin of Washington Capitals. He is nothing but great is having a great season for the Caps. He has turned the Nation's Capital into a big hockey city. Even diehard Redskins fans created signs for Ovechkin to play for them in their tough season.
Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins played in the first NHL Winter Classic. Other top young players who participated are Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Red Wings Pavel Datsuyk, Bruins Tim Thomas, and Sabres Ryan Miller.
I think a Rangers/Caps NHL Winter Classic would be great at New Yankee Stadium. I would not be surprised to see other places bid for the game in the next few years. Imagine 108,000 fans rooting the Red Wings on at Michigan Stadium or the game being played at new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Hockey is very big in Texas and pretty popular thanks to Stars moving to Dallas in 1993.
Here is my prediction of future cities and venues for the NHL Winter Classic
2011 - New York at new Yankee Stadium
Washington, DC at Nationals Park or FedEx Field
Detroit at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor or Ford Field
Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park or Lincoln Financial Field
Denver at Invesco Field
Dallas at new Cowboys Stadium
Toronto at Rogers Centre with dome open
Minneapolis/St. Paul at new Target Field or new Vikings Football Stadium
Columbus at Ohio Stadium aka The Horseshoe
Pittsburgh at Heinz Field or PNC Park
The success of the NHL Winter Classic is proving this is a great event for the NHL and casual hockey fans. Staging the game on January 1st is a great way to attract new fans. An interesting note about the game is that the winner of the game reached the Stanley Cup Finals, 2008 - Pittsburgh and 2009 - Detroit. I guess we will see if the Bruins reach the Stanley Cup Finals this year. Please feel to suggest your thoughts about possible venues and matchups.
It was announced on May 28, 2010, that the 2011 NHL Winter Classic will feature the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals. The 2011 NHL Winter Classic will be played at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. This matchup will feature the NHL's two biggest stars in Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. Look for the NHL to have a second outdoor game in Canada promoting the NHL Heritage Classic. A matchup of the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens is a strong possibility. This matchup would take place on February 20, 2011. The full NHL schedule will be announced on June 22, 2010.