The crowd at Chicago's Soldier Field for the 2014 Stadium Series game between the Hawks and Pens. (Getty Images)
According to a TSN report, the NHL is on the verge of announcing outdoor games next season in Minnesota and Colorado. It would be the first time each state hosted an outdoor NHL game, but the Avs' and Wild's opponents are familiar to the event.
The Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild will each host outdoor games next season, according to a report Wednesday from TSN's Bob McKenzie. The games will complement the Jan. 1 Winter Classic, which will take place in Boston's Gillette Stadium and feature the Bruins and Montreal Canadiens.
Dates and locations have yet to be finalized, but McKenzie's report indicates the Wild will square off against their division rival Chicago Blackhawks, while the Avs will take on the Detroit Red Wings in their outdoor game. It will be the first time Colorado and Minnesota will stage an outdoor NHL game, but the Wings and Blackhawks are familiar to the outdoors: both Chicago and Detroit have played in two Winter Classics, and the Hawks played another outdoor game last season at the NFL's Soldier Field as part of the league's Stadium Series.
The outdoor games have been a staggering success everywhere they've been held, and there's nothing to suggest they won't go over like gangbusters in Minnesota and Colorado. At this point, the question isn't where the league isn't going to stage an outdoor game – but rather, which market will be last to participate.