With the NHL announcing that there will be six different outdoor games next season, including one in Los Angeles, just about every team is wondering when they will get theirs.
Whether you enjoy watching the Outdoor Classic every year or not, there is no denying its national appeal. There is something alluring about watching a game that is normally within the confines of a compact arena be played like it was in the days of old. It gives people a chance to truly appreciate the tradition of the sport, as well as how far it has come.
Many people though, at least at this point, aren't sure what kind of effect having so many outdoor games will do to the uniqueness of the Winter Classic. In fact, many people think it is going to do more damage than good. After all, this is obviously a grab at some extra cash after a shortened season. I don't think anyone would deny that. (If you think about it, that's exactly what the Winter Classic is in the first place. It was established after the last lockout.)
But good things can come of it, regardless of the initial motivations. Instead of only five or six select markets participating in the Winter Classic, there is now a realistic chance for all 30 teams to play in an outdoor game themselves. In my mind, that makes this a much more of an actual "tradition" than what we had before, simply because the entire league gets to take part. It was never something overly special to me, simply because I knew that the Stars would never have a chance at playing in one. It was always fun to watch, but that was about it.
So now that the outdoor games have expanded, is there a chance that Dallas will be in one sooner rather than later? Razor Reaugh seems to think so.
"Mark my words today, there will be a game at Cowboys Stadium," Reaugh said. "There will be a game there. I would say in the next three years there will be a game at Cowboys Stadium."
An NHL Winter Classic at Cowboys Stadium could be of interest to Jones. The Arlington venue has become known for hosting some of the biggest events in sports since the stadium opened in 2009. The Super Bowl and NBA All-Star Game have already been played there and the Final Four will be added to the list in 2014. There have also been reports that Cowboys Stadium could host the 2015 college football national championship game.
The upcoming outdoor game in LA is probably what Stars fans can pin their hopes to. The fact of the matter is that the technology exists to build an outdoor rink in nearly every NHL city. As long as the outside temp hovers in the high 50s or lower, then it is roughly the same temperature as it is inside an arena. If the outdoor game in LA is a huge success, they will be looking to add on to that. And what better place than an arena that holds the attendance record for an NFL game?
I think Razor is on the right track here, though it's more likely that we will play one in Minnesota first. After all, they may wait until the Stars are a playoff team in the Central Division before having one down here. After all, that would allow for a ton of great rivalry games. A Southern Shootout between Dallas and Nashville, or an all out brawl between the Hawks and the Stars. The opportunity to market the game is certainly there. The only question is how long it will take to get it done.
Coming up in today's links: Notes on the Stars before tonight's game, Brenden Morrow talks about hit adjustment to a new team, and Jack Edwards says something incredibly dumb.
- Mark Stepneski has his game preview for tonight, including a stats match-up between the two teams. [Stars Inside Edge]
- We mentioned before, but in case you missed it - MacDermid should return, Daley is a game time decision, and Chiasson isn't close yet. [Stars Inside Edge]
- Stick tap to Henri for finding this one - Brenden Morrow talks about his transition to a new team. Most hurtful/Most truthful thing he says about transitioning? "Winning helps." Hopefully he'll get his chance through May and June to do just that. [Hockey News]
- Here's the weekly Grab Bag I rave about for each Sunday. It's a long read but always worth it. One of the more interesting stories in there revolves around Good Guy Chris Pronger, who, even though he will never play another game, is not retiring and staying on Injured Reserve so the Flyers won't have to take the cap hit. [Grantland]
- Here's some more thoughts on the outdoor games, and why it's a good idea to have them. [Sports Illustrated]
- The Leafs ended their nine year playoff drought last night. Proof that crazy things can and will happen during a shortened season. [Globe And Mail]
- The Ducks are content with going unnoticed as a division leader. It will be interesting to see what they accomplish in the playoffs. [Globe And Mail]
- Here are the three stars of all the games last night, including Ovechkin, who now has 30 goals in this shortened season. [Puck Daddy]
- Not many non-Penguins fans enjoy the play of Matt Cooke. His history is questionable at best, but he has cleaned up his style over the last several years. That's not enough for Jack Edwards, though, as he compares him to the man that murdered Robert Kennedy. Given everything that has happened in Boston lately, it was in pretty poor taste. Whether forced or not, he did apologize later. You can catch his words (and apology) here. [Puck Daddy]
- The Red Wings made it to a shootout last night (boo), where they lost to the Vancouver Canucks (yay). [NHL]
- That puts the Stars odds of reaching the playoffs at 24.4%. If things go the right way tonight (Stars regulation win, Jackets & Wild regulation losses), they could rocket back up to 50% in the morning. But the Stars can't be that lucky, can they? [Sports Club Stats]
- Finally, for your video of the day, we have Brian Gionta getting dumped over the boards and into the Panthers bench. I'm not a huge fan of what happens next. It's pretty low class, considering where the Panthers are in the standings (not to mention the score of the game itself). I want to go into a long rant about it, but I won't. I'll just say that actions reflect character.