The main thing you need to know about today’s 2020 Winter Classic press conference: Tickets will be on sale Tuesday, April 23, at Ticketmaster.
Much of the rest was as close to a love fest as you’re likely to get between the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators – blood rivals acutely aware of both the honor and responsibility of being the first non-traditional teams to headline the league’s annual non-playoffs showcase.
“The [2018 NHL Draft] was such a success, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to come back,” declared NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. He also acknowledged the impact of both teams’ large and rowdy followings on the decision to bring the Winter Classic to the Sun Belt.
“Dallas and for that matter Nashville are quintessential examples of the hockey boom,” Bettman said. “They are playing in this game in no small part because fans demanded it.”
As you can see, the event included an almost casual logo reveal. It was presented on the podium and on projection screens with no fuss or fanfare. (Clearly, they left that for @NHL Twitter.)
Representatives from the Stars, Preds, Dallas Fair Park, title sponsor Bridgestone, and the NHL Players’ Association echoed each other as they sang the praises of The House That Doak Built. Stars president Brad Alberts “fell in love” with the Cotton Bowl when the Stars began putting their Winter Classic case together, he told the assembled media. “We love to do big things here, and this event certainly fits our strategy.”
Jamie Benn emphasized the fact that the Winter Classic also counts for two regular-season points. “Those two points are extra-special” when you can get them at the expense of a rival, he added.
There wasn’t any news about the Winter Classic uniforms, and there won’t be for a while – but team fashion plate John Klingberg probably thrilled several fans with his preference for black and green sweaters and “some old-school logos.”
Ben Bishop may have been most succinct, calling the event “a dream come true.”
“All these young men grew up playing [outside], and now they get to live that at the pro level,” said Stars GM Jim Nill. He added that many of the players are planning to bring their families for the event.
Predators owner Herb Fritsch invoked the stadium’s history in his own comments, with a laundry list of college and NFL greats who played in the Cotton Bowl championship. “We hope our rivalry with the Stars, and Dallas’ ability to throw a great party, will add one more chapter to that great history.”
“We’ve been looking forward to this opportunity for a long, long time,” said Nashville GM David Poile. “This has all the makings of the best game ever.”