For all the glitz and glamour of the Winter Classic, the event will also carry a certain emotional edge to it for Philadelphia Flyers fans.
Former captain and Philadelphia hockey legend Eric Lindros, who has had minimal connection to Philadelphia since he was traded after a public feud with General Manager Bobby Clarke, will return to the ice to play in the Winter Classic Alumni Game.
More important than his return to the ice, though, is his return to the Flyers family.
Lindros has been a polarizing figure for over a decade. Fans have struggled to find the balance between acknowledging the greatness of No. 88 and dealing with the unpleasant terms on which he left town.
The festivities will bring a number of reasons to celebrate in the City of Brotherly Love.
The Phantoms return to town to play in front of their true fans. Bernie Parent returns to the crease for the first time since his career-ending eye injury. With a little luck, the Flyers will knock off the rival New York Rangers on the biggest stage of them all.
But most importantly, the city gets to celebrate the return of its prodigal son. We could not be happier to have Big E back in orange and black.