It was reported by many outlets months ago that the NHL's 2012 Winter Classic would be played in Philadelphia, PA at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies.
The preferred site was Lincoln Financial Field, but the NFL schedule would cause scheduling conflicts. NBC Comcast Chairman and Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider does not want to potentially compete with a NFL Sunday Schedule.
With that fact in mind, the proposed date will be Monday January 2, 2012. It is a break in tradition, but the show must go on.
Now, after many weeks and months of speculation, and rumors that were widely accepted as truths, the NHL will officially and formally announce the site of the 2012 Winter Classic as Citizens Bank Park. This information comes courtesy of The Philadelphia Daily News.
This is one of the longest and most drawn out Winter Classic announcements in recent memory. The Philadelphia Daily News also went on to cite a source that said:
"The Phillies are expected to finally sign off on the rental terms for Citizens Bank Park to make the deal done and documented.
NHL officials have visited Citizens Bank Park numerous times over the past few weeks to hammer out the details.The event is just a unique one to the Phillies and it has taken time to go through the issues."
The Rangers and Flyers are going to be must-see television for the HBO 24/7 Winter Classic. Viewers were exposed to Bruce Boudreau and his acid tongue in last year’s edition. Having John Tortorella, Peter Laviolette and the entire Rangers and Flyers locker rooms on full display for the world will be great.
There are so many different characters on both rosters, and it will be interesting to see. One of the most interesting episodes will likely be the last episode leading up to the classic. It is then where the Flyers and Jaromir Jagr will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh. Given Jagr's history with the Penguins it should be an interesting episode.
The Winter Classic is a great event each an every year. With the summer almost over, fans are all ready for hockey, and this news may help bridge the gap of the offseason until training camp starts in a few weeks.
H/T to Kevin Delury (@TheNYRBlog) over at The NYR Blog for pointing this out.
Tom Urtz is an NHL Featured Columnist
For more NHL free agent news, updates and alerts about players: