According to the Fourth Period, the National Hockey League is looking into doing “multiple” outdoor games in 2014 as a way to recoup some of the revenue losses from the 2012-13 lockout.
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings NHL Winter Classic outdoor game will take place next season on or around January 1, 2014 after the 2013 game was cancelled due to the lockout. The report says the 2014 NHL Winter Classic will be the first of “a series of outdoor games.”
For the other outdoor games, the NHL is looking at the possibility of playing at Yankee Stadium in New York City and Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles. They would also like to bring back the NHL Heritage Classic and Vancouver’s BC Place or Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium could play host.
Vancouver may have the inside track over Edmonton for the Heritage Classic since Edmonton hosted the original back in November 2003. That game is probably best remembered for it’s sub-zero temperatures as it was nearly -30 °C with wind chill. Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jose Theodore famously wore a tuque over his mask as a way to keep warm.
The prospect of playing in a renovated BC Place and in a city with above-zero temperatures in February or March may be enticing for the NHL and its players. The game won’t be much of an “outdoor” game though since BC Place’s retractable roof only covers the playing surface.
A NHL Heritage Classic outdoor game at BC Place against the high octane, young Edmonton Oilers squad. Sounds good to me!