Keep the Winter in Winter Classic: Top 5 Destinations for the Outdoor Event
Every hockey fan dreamed of it when they were kid.
School was done, and winter break had begun. Besides the fact that there was no school, hockey was the second best thing for the next two weeks.
Pond hockey is what makes legends.
Orr, Gretzky, and Lemieux did it the old fashioned way, playing pond hockey and becoming the legends they became by playing in the outdoors—not going to hockey camp after hockey camp.
Outdoor hockey is what made the sport, and every year on New Year's Day, we honor it by playing an outdoor game.
The big question is, where should they play it?
Here are five destinations for the next Winter Classics.
Note: These teams in here could not have been in a Winter Classic previously. Seriously, who wants to see them again?
1. Toronto Maple Leafs Vs. Montreal Canadiens, Destination: Doesn't Matter
Really... this is a no-brainer.
These two teams hate each other, and they are part of the Original 6.
Need I say more?
2. New York Rangers Vs. New York Islanders, Destination: New York...
Another good game because neither of these teams have been in the Classic (I was disappointed when the Penguins were voted in again. C'mon NHL! Get another team!).
These two teams have a good rivalry going (although the Islanders have been...well...lacking skill in the past couple of years), and it's a wintry place.
I could see this being played in Yankee Stadium also because Giants Stadium isn't in New York, this making a "New York Classic" a misnomer.
3. Vancouver Canucks Vs. Ottawa Senators, Destination: Ottawa
The Capital of Canada—the stage is set!
Unfortunately, this rivalry isn't too serious.
But that's okay! It'd still be a good game. Vancouver has established themselves as a Stanley Cup Contender and have many good players. If the Senators could become a little better record-wise, this game could definitely happen.
4. Minnesota Wild Vs. Dallas Stars, Destination: Minnesota, Target Field
Grrrrr...Norm Green... (Sorry, I had to do that because I respect Minnesota Hockey).
This game has been hyped up in Minnesota for a long time.
The Stars and the Wild don't have a bitter Montreal and Toronto rivalry, but this would be a good game, especially if the Wild win (not because I'm a Wild fan, but because the Wild need some closure for their big loss.)
But then again, if there were no Dallas Stars, there would be no Minnesota Wild, and I wouldn't be writing this right now so...
Let's keep things the way they are.
5. Edmonton Oilers Vs. Calgary Flames, Destination: Edmonton
The 2nd most bitter rivalry in the NHL behind the Montreal/Toronto rivalry, I'd definitely watch this game, although the teams aren't the best.
But it's like watching the Army/Navy game in college football.
The teams used to be good (at different time periods) and they probably won't win the Cup soon, but we still love watching them go at it.
These two teams could churn out some pretty cool jerseys as well.