On Saturday, the NHL officially announced three outdoor games for the 2015-16 season with Boston, Minnesota and Colorado playing host.
On Jan. 1, 2016, the Bruins will take on the Montreal Canadiens at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. Boston becomes the first team to play host to the Winter Classic twice. The Bruins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1 in overtime, at Fenway Park in 2010. The Canadiens will become the second Canadian-based team to play in a Winter Classic, after the Toronto Maple Leafs participated in last year’s event at Michigan Stadium.
The Minnesota Wild will play host to the first of two Stadium Series games on Feb. 21, when the Chicago Blackhawks visit TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus.
Commissioner Gary Bettman was asked about including the Blackhawks in a fourth outdoor game.
Six days later, the Colorado Avalanche will welcome the Detroit Red Wings to Coors Field in the second Stadium Series game.
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 Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche will likely host Stadium Series games during the 2015-16 season according to hockey insider Darren Dreger.
Commissioner Gary Bettman was in Minnesota last week and admitted the league had visited potential venues for an outdoor game to be hosted by the Wild.
According to a report from The Canadian Press on Tuesday, the NHL is planning on having somewhere between two and six outdoor games next season.
This season has just two outdoor games down from the six in 2013-14.
Chicago visits Washington in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2015 and the Sharks play host to the Kings in the lone Stadium Series game Feb. 21, 2015.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is taking in the Canadiens – Wild game in Minnesota tonight and was a guest on the Wild broadcast during the intermission.
He spoke on the possibility of an outdoor game in Minnesota, expansion and parity in the league.
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Fans in Minnesota have been clamoring for an outdoor NHL game to be played there for years and now it looks like their wish is going to come true.
According to Michael Russo of The Star Tribune, the Minnesota Wild will not be hosting an outdoor game in the 2014-15 season, but will have one coming their way for the 2015-16 season.
Russo’s word from a NHL insider said the league tried to get a Stadium Series game against the Dallas Stars scheduled for the upcoming season in February at Target Field, but they weren’t able to get logistics figured out for other events (college and high school games) to be fit into the schedule.
There were also concerns over what the condition of the field would be with the date coming so close to the start of baseball season.
All of those issues apparently wouldn’t be an issue for the following season as Russo shared.
The league source said, “At the end of the day, both of us determined that next year would be better. It’s going to happen next year.”
It’s probably true Wild fans will be upset knowing the game won’t happen in the upcoming season because of , but the fact they want to bring the old franchise back to town (the Stars) to be part of the game should get everyone excited for it to possibly happen in 2016.
For now it seems Minnesota fans’ patience will be rewarded, they’ll just have to use a little bit more to bide their time. With things still being up in the air, the possibility they host a Winter Classic is still out there. At the very least, a Stadium Series game would keep fans happy.
Now the biggest question out of this: Would Wild fans be able to handle seeing Dallas possibly sporting North Stars jerseys for the game?