The 2012 NHL Winter Classic is done, but it's not too early to talk about where the 2013 game should be played.
It's time to move the game west or north. Period.
The East Coast has pretty much dominated this game so far. Pittsburgh-Buffalo, Detroit-Chicago, Philadelphia-Boston, Washington-Pittsburgh and now New York-Philadelphia.
Notice a lack of Canadian teams? I sure do.
Notice a lack of West Coast teams? I sure do.
Considering the sport of hockey started in Canada and is considered the national sport, why have no teams from north of the border been asked to participate? Chances are great the weather will cooperate greatly if you play the game in Canada.
Could you imagine a game between the Montreal Canadians, who happen to have the most Stanley Cup championships in league history, and the Toronto Maple Leafs? You could even get an East-West thing going and include the Edmonton Oilers, another storied franchise in NHL history.
It doesn't have to be two Canadian teams, you could have a North versus South, Canada versus USA type game
Here's an interesting concept. Send the Colorado Avalanche, the former Quebec Nordiques, north to play Montreal. Let them wear their throwback jerseys. Create some buzz for the game on both sides of the border.
I know ratings always play into everything. That's a big reason why Pittsburgh has already played in the game twice. They have arguably the best player in the game in Sidney Crosby.
Maybe the game could turn into a matchup of the previous season's Stanley Cup championship. If the cities involved happen to be warm weather locations, you could always play the game at a neutral site.
At the very least just make sure more franchises get the opportunity to partake in what is becoming a great New Year's tradition. That's the best way to grow the popularity of the game.