A day after we learned due to scheduling conflicts the Winnipeg Jets will not host the Heritage Classic during the 2015-16 season, more details have emerged regarding next season’s outdoor games.
Hockey insider Bob McKenzie joined the NBCSN panel to discuss the outdoor games to be hosted in both Minnesota and Colorado next season.
McKenzie says the NHL will use the all star weekend to officially announce next season’s outdoor games.
McKenzie reports the Red Wings will play in Colorado in one of the Stadium Series games while the Chicago Blackhawks will visit Minnesota in the other.
He also confirmed Boston will play host to the Montreal Canadiens in the 2016 Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium.
The L.A. Kings and San Jose Sharks will play in the lone Stadium Series game this season on Feb. 21 at Levi’s Stadium.
The Boston Bruins organization is expected to be awarded the 2016 Winter Classic.
Hockey insider Bob McKenzie reported the news Thursday on TSN’s Insider Trading segment.
According to McKenzie, the NHL is expected to make the announcement in the new year either in January or February.
He also confirmed previous reports that the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild will host Stadium Series games while the Winnipeg Jets will host the 2016 Heritage Classic.
A total of four outdoor games is expected for the 2015-16 season.
According to the Winnipeg Free Press, the NHL is looking at Winnipeg to potentially host a Heritage Classic outdoor game.
Newspaper sources say the league has contacted Environment Canada for information regarding weather patterns in Winnipeg for January and February (“Awful, with a chance of terrible”), suggesting a reincarnated Heritage Classic could be on the docket for the Manitoba capital, possibly for 2014.
As for location? Investors Group Field — Winnipeg’s currently-under-construction football stadium — is set to open in June 2012 with an estimated capacity of 40,000 (with temporary seating.) While that seating number falls short of the 57,167 at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium in 2003 for the Oilers-Canadiens Heritage Classic, it’s not too far off the 41,022 that attended Calgary’s McMahon Stadium for the 2011 Classic between the Habs and Flames.
As mentioned earlier, weather will likely play a key role in Winnipeg’s ability to host. Weather was a major story at the 2011 Classic, as the wind chill in Calgary made the temperature feel like minus-21 degrees Celsius (minus-6 Fahrenheit.)