Last year the NHL Stadium Series afforded fans in multiple markets and opportunity to witness the spectacle of outdoor hockey. As of right now we only have confirmation of one outdoor game during the 2014-2015 NHL season, maybe one in Canada, and rumors of one in the Bay Area. It’s so depressing.
Roughly this time last year the NHL Stadium Series was announced. The internet seemed to groan as one at the thought of money hungry owners ruining our beloved Winter Classic (because the Winter Classic was never about money). But then something unexpected happened, the Stadium Series was FUN!!!
The game in Los Angeles was an amazing break from the bleakness of winter for most of the hockey loving public, the game in Chicago was a great winter wonderland, and the two
games in Yankee Stadium featuring the eventual Eastern Conference champion were the weakest two. Combine that with a beautiful winter classic in Michigan Stadium and a Heritage Classic that put the full collapse of the Vancouver Canucks on display for the whole continent and the outdoor games were the third best event of the hockey year behind the Stanley Cup playoffs and the Olympics.
After the fun of last year you want us to go back to at best three…THREE GAMES? I can hear the fans in Toronto and Chicago and Pittsburgh bemoan how it weakens the outdoor game when there are so many of them. I’m guessing that St. Louis, Minnesota, or Dallas wouldn’t mind them expanding the NHL Stadium Series for this year again. Get creative with it if the games becoming stale is the fear, have the Blue Jackets play Pittsburgh or Detroit in Progressive Field in Cleveland. The Stars and Coyotes at the Ballpark at Arlington. You could even have a non-traditional franchise such as Nashville be a visiting team for a “traditional” hockey market outdoor game. Maybe six is too much but four or five games, would that be too much?
Pretty sure the answer is no for a league that is trying to grow and seems intent on holding back on their best weapon.