Good Afternoon Wilderness! Today I am going to talk briefly about the outdoor game, and the lack of them in the State of Hockey. To date, Minnesota has yet to have an NHL outdoor game of any kind. This makes absolutely no sense at all, to me.
I know I am preaching to the choir, but Minnesota has a rich hockey tradition, and having a NHL Winter Classic or an NHL Stadium Series game makes perfect sense. Actually, it's a no-brainer, and I am shocked that the State of Hockey has yet to have an NHL outdoor game.
To date, Minnesota has only had one outdoor game and that was between Ohio State University and the University of Minnesota. For those keeping track at home, 45000 fans attended last season Hockey City Classic at the TCF Bank Field. Unfortunately, it looks like Minnesota might be out of the mix again this year.
The NHL schedule is expected to be released June 22. As of now, that Dallas-Wild outdoors came at Target Field may not come into fruition for this season. I hear the Wild, by the way, has a pretty difficult October with a lot of road games. (Russo's Rants)
Last season, the NHL had a plethora of outdoor games, six to be exact. It's doubtful that there will be that many this season. According to Mike Halford of Pro Hockey Talk, this season there's only going to be two outdoor games this season.
During the Stanley Cup playoffs, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed there would be less than the six outdoor games held this year - the Winter Classic at Ann Arbor, four Stadium Series games at Dodger Stadium, Yankee Stadium and Soldier Field and the Heritage Classic in Vancouver - but more than the one already confirmed, the 2015 Winter Classic in Washington.
Last season, there were over 20 outdoor games counting college and the professional ranks. In my opinion, that was a bit of an over kill. With there only being two outdoor games this season, it doesn't look good for Minnesota in 2014-15
Sounds like the 2nd outdoor game next season for the NHL will be in the Bay Area...either AT&T Park or the new Levi's Stadium.— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) June 17, 2014
So let's review, San Jose, California, which isn't exactly a hockey hotbed, is going to get an outdoor game over the State of Hockey. Wow! I know I shouldn't be shocked that the NHL would rather have a second outdoor hockey game in the state of California before the State of Hockey is awarded its first outdoor game, ever. That's par for the course in the NHL under Commissioner Bettman's leadership.
As we saw during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Xcel Energy Center was jumping. The atmosphere was awesome. Apparently, that didn't impress NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHL front office. I guess we’ll find on June 22, 2014, when the NHL releases it 2014-15 schedule, if the Minnesota was awarded an outdoor game.