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Flyers in, Wild out of 'Classic' hosting?

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08:34 AM ET 01.04 | According to a report, Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field has the inside track on landing the 2012 Winter Classic. The NHL "prefers the NFL stadium model compared to the baseball stadium because there's more seating [and] better line sights." The Colorado Avalanche also are "interested and have a shot" at hosting the game. The Minnesota Wild repeatedly have expressed their desire to host the game, but the league does not "see the Wild as a very sexy team to have in the game."

The Patriot-News

Sidney Crosby, Getty Images Sidney Crosby, Getty Images
January 4, 2011  08:56 AM ET

but the league does not "see the Wild as a very sexy team to have in the game."

AKA The league knows nobody wants to watch the Wild so they don't want to waste a spot in their premier in-season event. Even pitting them against the Pens would make it tough...and Sid can't play the Classic EVERY year.

January 4, 2011  09:02 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

but the league does not "see the Wild as a very sexy team to have in the game."AKA The league knows nobody wants to watch the Wild so they don't want to waste a spot in their premier in-season event. Even pitting them against the Pens would make it tough...and Sid can't play the Classic EVERY year.

yep ... and I think NBC is slapping the rest of the NHL in the face, especially the Canadain teams by not having a game in Montreal/Toronto/Ottawa/Calagry/Edmonton/Vancouver

personally if NBC wants to make it the "Sid Classic" year in and out, then I think CBC should put on an all Canada outdoor game on to upstage it

January 4, 2011  09:03 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

but the league does not "see the Wild as a very sexy team to have in the game."AKA The league knows nobody wants to watch the Wild so they don't want to waste a spot in their premier in-season event. Even pitting them against the Pens would make it tough...and Sid can't play the Classic EVERY year.

True, and quite HONESTLY? As a Pens' fan, I don't want Pitt in it every year. I think it is too much pressure/hype, risk, etc. Sure, the players should be able to deal with it, but let other players play in it. I was at the game the other night, and I was worried about them playing in that crappy weather, getting hurt in the middle of the season, etc. Will other classics do as well if "marquee" players don't play in them? Probably not. The Caps/Pens was the best (ratings) yet, but nonetheless...

January 4, 2011  09:10 AM ET

I'll second that DWI. The distraction of the "Winter Classic" is too much and it shouldn't be put on the same team every year. Although a Flyers/Pens game in Beaver Stadium at Penn State would still be awesome.

January 4, 2011  09:16 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

I'll second that DWI. The distraction of the "Winter Classic" is too much and it shouldn't be put on the same team every year. Although a Flyers/Pens game in Beaver Stadium at Penn State would still be awesome.

Ha. Ha.

Well, that's just it. You either need a very strong rivalry to play in it, or "marquee" players. Otherwise, it is going to be a bust.

It isn't a damn secret why this one was the most sucessful, whether people want to accept that or not.

January 4, 2011  09:18 AM ET

It's time for the league to focus on some other teams the Pens don't need any help. It stinks this game was worse than the playoffs as far as the warm weather bandwagoners that hop on. Blah. But still, I agree this is a big slap in the face to the other teams that want to suck at the teat of this cash cow.

January 4, 2011  09:23 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

It's time for the league to focus on some other teams the Pens don't need any help. It stinks this game was worse than the playoffs as far as the warm weather bandwagoners that hop on. Blah. But still, I agree this is a big slap in the face to the other teams that want to suck at the teat of this cash cow.

It isn't about the individual TEAMS that need help.

It is about sport needing help. The Winter Classic is supposed to promote the sport, draw the casual or non-fan in permanently, etc. A game between the Wild and ANYONE else isn't going to do that. No offense to Wild fans, but it just isn't.

January 4, 2011  09:27 AM ET

Funny that about the only place in the US that can be guaranteed to have really cold outdoor weather is not enough of an attraction (teamwise) to get the event. I do agree with BBBJ that the league runs the risk of becoming silly by ignoring obvious Canadian rivalries. It's impossible to satisfy everyone, but maybe a change in direction is warranted for a few years. IMHO.

January 4, 2011  09:33 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

True, and quite HONESTLY? As a Pens' fan, I don't want Pitt in it every year. I think it is too much pressure/hype, risk, etc. Sure, the players should be able to deal with it, but let other players play in it. I was at the game the other night, and I was worried about them playing in that crappy weather, getting hurt in the middle of the season, etc. Will other classics do as well if "marquee" players don't play in them? Probably not. The Caps/Pens was the best (ratings) yet, but nonetheless...

As another Pens fan I have to agree with the previous statements by DWI nd Burgh-Fan. Everyone likes to hate on Crosby for everything - even things he doesn't control (ie- the schedule). I too don't want to see Crosby in the Winter Classic every year. As much as I love the Penguins (and the team they were able to put together), I'm much more a fan of the NHL. The NHL always likes to shoot themselves in the foot too. Instead of going with a Canadian city like Calgary or Edmonton (which lets be honest, would generate a whole lot more excitement then any city in America outside of Detroit) they put it in Pittsburgh where there were problems and there was talk of moving the game to Sunday. Can you imagine that seen? Everyone at the Pens game watching the steelers on their smart phone?

Canada needs the Winter Classic.. wait, scratch that. The NHL needs the Winter Classic in Canada.

January 4, 2011  09:35 AM ET

canada already has an outdoor game featuring only canadian teams called the heritage cup

January 4, 2011  09:44 AM ET

it is the heritage classic and not cup.

January 4, 2011  09:45 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

canada already has an outdoor game featuring only canadian teams called the heritage cup

Soccer threads------------------------------------>

January 4, 2011  09:53 AM ET

The Wild may not deserve a classic, but their fans definitely do. Flyers vs Wild in Minnesota works for me. If they hafta have it in Philly though, i want the Habs.

That being said, there are plenty of other teams and deserving fanbases that haven't yet participated in a heritage or classic event. Why are we recycling teams through this already.

January 4, 2011  09:57 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

it is the heritage classic and not cup.

It's the precursor to the Winter Classic, not a separate entity.

January 4, 2011  09:59 AM ET

"Flyers in, Wild out of 'Classic' hosting?"

As I said elsewhere, I'm all misty eyed.

YAWWWWWNNNN!!!

January 4, 2011  10:05 AM ET

"The NHL "prefers the NFL stadium model compared to the baseball stadium because there's more seating (and) better line sights."

Finally!!!! They saw the light!!! Although I'm not enamored with this spectacle on either venue, a football stadium is much better than a dopey baseball diamond.

January 4, 2011  10:09 AM ET

hahahaha, Canuck, that's funny ****.

I don't agree with you all about Canada hosting, which is out of character for me. As DWI stated, its about promoting the league, not the individual teams. Sure, the teams like the extra cash, no doubt, but that's small picture stuff. The league uses this event to try to drum up more attention for the sport in the US. What good would a Canadian hosted Classic do? Give Americans a reason NOT to watch, if you ask me.

Look, its a given that a game like this in Canada will be sold out. Whether it be in an NHL city like Calgary, or a wannabe NHL city like Winnipeg (would THAT ever be cold..no worries of rain if there!), the tix would sell out on the first day. But there's no mystique to that. Last year was awesome because it was played at historic Fenway. It was played in Wrigley when it was in Chicago if I remember right. Vaunted venues the NHL has never been associated with, giving the game a once-in-a-lifetime feel, if you will. You start playing this game in Division II College football stadiums, you lose that aura. Its why they wanted to play in Yankee Stadium before it was torn down. Where would Minny host it? While it appears the Metrodome is currently open to the air, I doubt its the plan, long term. Either way though, its a city that deserves to host it once it starts icing an NHL team again.

Premier matchups and star players drive this event. The Wild have none of the above, but there are only so many US cities that can host this puppy. New York is too busy, in my opinion, but Buffalo isn't. Detroit hasn't hosted yet. Denver, no doubt. Throw Canada a bone once in a while like they have this year with Calgary, but make it supplement the Winter Classic, not the main event.

Or start hosting it in non-NHL markets. I said it before, but how cool would it be for Whalers fans to see another game in Hartford? Or Nordiques fans watching an outdoor NHL game in Quebec City? Or set up the Rideau Canal to host a game and have the Sens play on the World's Largest Skating Rink! The mystique to some of these games would sell the games themselves. Carolina would play in Hartford, wearing their old Whalers jerseys. Phoenix in Winnipeg in the blue Jets unis (best of all time). Colorado in Quebec City as the Nords. NJ would play in Colorado as the Rockies against the Avs. The Thrashers in Kansas City as the soon-to-be-reborn Scouts?

January 4, 2011  10:12 AM ET

So, in three years the Classic has Philly, Pitt and Philly again. If the NHL wants to use this to grow the game they are going to have to expand the number of teams who play in it. Not that I'm complaining if it came to the Linc, but it needs to be spread around a bit more. I'm sure Detroit would be a good site, not to mention the Canadian cities that have already been noted here.

Now, if it is at the Linc, I'd like to see the Rangers. That would make for a great game.

January 4, 2011  10:14 AM ET
QUOTE(#20):

So, in three years the Classic has Philly, Pitt and Philly again. If the NHL wants to use this to grow the game they are going to have to expand the number of teams who play in it. Not that I'm complaining if it came to the Linc, but it needs to be spread around a bit more. I'm sure Detroit would be a good site, not to mention the Canadian cities that have already been noted here.Now, if it is at the Linc, I'd like to see the Rangers. That would make for a great game.

Of course, if it is in Philly, they better hope it doesn't snow before hand. :)

 
January 4, 2011  10:16 AM ET
QUOTE(#19):

hahahaha, Canuck, that's funny ****.I don't agree with you all about Canada hosting, which is out of character for me. As DWI stated, its about promoting the league, not the individual teams. Sure, the teams like the extra cash, no doubt, but that's small picture stuff. The league uses this event to try to drum up more attention for the sport in the US. What good would a Canadian hosted Classic do? Give Americans a reason NOT to watch, if you ask me. Look, its a given that a game like this in Canada will be sold out. Whether it be in an NHL city like Calgary, or a wannabe NHL city like Winnipeg (would THAT ever be cold..no worries of rain if there!), the tix would sell out on the first day. But there's no mystique to that. Last year was awesome because it was played at historic Fenway. It was played in Wrigley when it was in Chicago if I remember right. Vaunted venues the NHL has never been associated with, giving the game a once-in-a-lifetime feel, if you will. You start playing this game in Division II College football stadiums, you lose that aura. Its why they wanted to play in Yankee Stadium before it was torn down. Where would Minny host it? While it appears the Metrodome is currently open to the air, I doubt its the plan, long term. Either way though, its a city that deserves to host it once it starts icing an NHL team again. Premier matchups and star players drive this event. The Wild have none of the above, but there are only so many US cities that can host this puppy. New York is too busy, in my opinion, but Buffalo isn't. Detroit hasn't hosted yet. Denver, no doubt. Throw Canada a bone once in a while like they have this year with Calgary, but make it supplement the Winter Classic, not the main event.Or start hosting it in non-NHL markets. I said it before, but how cool would it be for Whalers fans to see another game in Hartford? Or Nordiques fans watching an outdoor NHL game in Quebec City? Or set up the Rideau Canal to host a game and have the Sens play on the World's Largest Skating Rink! The mystique to some of these games would sell the games themselves. Carolina would play in Hartford, wearing their old Whalers jerseys. Phoenix in Winnipeg in the blue Jets unis (best of all time). Colorado in Quebec City as the Nords. NJ would play in Colorado as the Rockies against the Avs. The Thrashers in Kansas City as the soon-to-be-reborn Scouts?

Good stuff, GC. You make a lot of good points. I like the idea of a game that could be played in a Non-NHL city.......like Quebec, or Hartford. As you said, it's about the league, not the individual city so much. Although I'm sure you will agree that Pittsburgh has gotten to be every strong franchise and deserved a shot too. Like I said earlier, there just ain't no way to please everyone, but I think you have some good ideas on the subject.

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