The St. Louis Blues may not yet have a Stanley Cup in their trophy case, but the franchise has been one of the most steadily competitive in the NHL over the past several seasons. And with the Blues continuously on the rise, the NHL will head to St. Louis this coming January for the Winter Classic.
Having the Blues as the host of the Winter Classic carries more significance than simply playing one of the league’s showcase events in St. Louis, though. It also offers an opportunity for the franchise to celebrate a major anniversary in style. The coming campaign will be the 50th for the Blues, and the logo for the outdoor game has been selected with that in mind.
The logo the Blues will wear for the outdoor contest, which can be seen in greatest detail below, is the exact crest the team wore during its inaugural season. At first glance the logo may not look much different from the one the team currently wears, but the bolder base, more prominent yellow outline and more pronounced points make the mark standout from the one currently worn by the club. Read more
When the preliminary rosters were revealed for the Heritage Classic alumni game on Friday, it seemed like the Edmonton Oilers had the decisive edge over their Winnipeg Jets counterparts.
After all, the Oilers oldies are littered with stars from their 1980s heyday when they won four Stanley Cups in five years – and then added another in 1990.
Fans in Winnipeg clamored for True North Sports and Entertainment to bring back their beloved Jets and the ownership came through by naming the league’s newest team after the club that departed Manitoba’s capital in the mid-1990s. But with the Heritage Classic coming to Winnipeg in October 2016, the ownership group has gone one step further by bringing the team back in name and style, at least for the outdoor event.
The Jets and Edmonton Oilers officially unveiled their jerseys for the Heritage Classic at an event held in downtown Winnipeg Friday, and the jerseys for both teams will harken back to the heyday of the rivalry between the Jets and Oilers in the 1980s. Read more
The NHL has held outdoor games at NCAA, MLB, CFL and NFL stadiums, an MLS pitch will be the site of the Centennial Classic next season and in the pre-Winter Classic era the league has even made an outdoor game work outside of Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Even with all those venues checked off, though, the league is still hoping to make one more location work for an upcoming outdoor tilt: Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
According to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, the NHL is still eying up Parliament Hill for a potential December 2017 outdoor game. However, the logistics of putting an outdoor game in a spot that would require tens of thousands of temporary seats to be put in place could mean the scenic open-air game could be put on the back burner.
“It’s complicated,” commissioner Gary Bettman told Garrioch of hosting the game on Parliament Hill. “We’d have to know more. It’s complicated and expensive. We’ve been exploring it and doing some homework on it.” Read more
The 2016-17 season will be a busy one for The Center of the Hockey Universe™. With the World Cash Grab of Hockey™ and the World Junior Championship, there will be no shortage of high-level, best-on-best hockey in Toronto. The Centennial Classic outdoor game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings on New Year’s Day can’t promise a spectacle on that scale, but it does give the Leafs the big event they were seeking in their 100th season and the well-heeled fans in Toronto another place to put their money.
Ladies and gentlemen, start your wallets, because none of this is going to be cheap to see. The Centennial Classic will be the smallest of the outdoor games, largely because BMO Field can accommodate only 35,000 patrons, but that will undoubtedly be made up by sky-high ticket prices. When it comes to paying for big events and putting a ton of money into its hockey entertainment, Toronto has not even come close to reaching its saturation level. There will be no sticker shock. Nor will there be any fatigue, even with this game smack-dab in the middle of the WJC. People in Toronto eat this stuff up.
It’s official: the Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers will be heading outdoors for the 2016 Heritage Classic.
At a press conference at Winnipeg’s MTS Centre Sunday afternoon, the outdoor contest was officially announced, as was an entire weekend’s worth of events. The Heritage Classic, which will take place Oct. 23, will be preceded by a Legends Game, which will be played Oct. 22 and feature some of the greatest players from the Oilers-Jets rivalry of the 1980s and 1990s.
“When we joined the NHL back in 2011, there was a lot to get done in a short period of time,” Mark Chipman, chairman of True North Sports and Entertainment, said. “We very much wanted to honor the history of the Jets back then, we were really more interested in doing so properly. As we began to think about how we could best do so, we realized that hosting a Heritage Classic and building a series of events around the game provided the most appropriate way to acknowledge the history of the Winnipeg Jets.” Read more
It took a little-known Swiss goaltender named Joren Van Pottleberghe to bring together the two principal characters of one of the most infamous incidents the game has ever seen.
It was shortly after the draft and the Detroit Red Wings had just selected Van Pottleberghe in the fourth round. Kris Draper, an executive with the Red Wings, was in the lobby in his hotel in South Florida and he was approached by Claude Lemieux, the agent for Van Pottleberghe. The two had a rather awkward conversation about Lemieux’s client for a couple of minutes and Lemieux went on his way.
“I wasn’t going to bring it up,” Draper said, “and he wasn’t going to bring it up. It was basically him as an agent and me as a Red Wings executive talking hockey.”
Over the past eight seasons, the NHL has held their outdoor games in MLB parks, NFL stadiums and on college football fields. But with three outdoor games this season and another four potentially in the works for 2016-17, the league could be looking for something to spice the outdoor game up and a unique venue could be in the works.
According to Spencer Callaghan, Ottawa mayor Jim Watson said Wednesday that the league has had officials come to the city to look at the feasibility of putting an outdoor game on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Watson said there’s the ability to put up 30,000 temporary seats on the ground.
It wouldn’t be a game lacking history, either, as Watson added that commissioner Gary Bettman is mindful of the significance of 2017 being the 100th anniversary of the first NHL game between the Canadiens and Senators. That game, the second of the season for both teams in the inaugural NHL campaign, was played on Dec. 30, 1916. For that reason, it would seem likely any outdoor game in Ottawa would pit the Senators against the Canadiens. Read more