We know that on January 2, 2012 there’s going to be the Winter Classic in Philadelphia between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers. The game is listed as a Monday afternoon game on the NHL schedule. Flyers fans have even been sent their season tickets containing the ducats that will get them into Citizens Bank Park that afternoon but the NHL still has yet to make the game official with a press conference to announce the teams and date.
Is there an issue that’s holding up the game from being made official? Not exactly.
CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio finds out that while the game is going to happen and the Philadelphia Phillies are out of town this week, we’re not likely going to see an official announcement anytime soon.
According to a source involved in the negotiations, no announcement is anticipated this week, after all.
Other sources told CSNPhilly.com that the Flyers had anticipated an announcement two weeks ago, saying that terms and conditions between the NHL and the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park were completed. Never happened.
All right, so what gives here? The 2012 Winter Classic is perhaps the world’s worst kept secret. After all, we’ve had other reports come out since the playoffs were going on back in May and now it’s September, less than four months from the game, and there hasn’t been anything official from the NHL. At this point it’s just funny. We all know when the game is going to be, we know where it’s going to be played and even sillier still, the past games have all been taken care of by this point of the offseason.
The announcement for the 2011 Winter Classic in Pittsburgh happened in late July 2010. The same mid-summer press conference happened for the announcement of the 2010 Winter Classic in Fenway Park back in 2009. Perhaps things in dealing with the sale of the Atlanta Thrashers helped keep the NHL too busy to take care of making their single biggest TV event outside of the Stanley Cup finals from being made official. Who knows?
All we know here is that we know everything going on with the event itself. It’s up to the league to get it together and just gather everyone around to make it all completely official.