The NHL's annual Winter Classic has been bringing in casual fans of the game since its inception in 2008. It gives hockey a national spotlight it rarely sees at any other point in the season. So what cities deserve to host this massive spectacle over the next several years?
This year's Classic was set to be the biggest yet, with over 100,000 fans expected for the game at Michigan Stadium between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Its cancellation, as Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports pointed out, was devastating:
It would have been the most lucrative event in league history; the one moment every season when the NHL gets it right, in the eyes of even the most ardent cynics in the U.S. sports media.
With that said, we're going to take a look at five cities (ranked in order of most deserving) who should be given the chance to host this hockey gala in the years to come, while also predicting what the possible matchup in the game would be.