Are We Getting Cosby-Ovechkin’d Out?

The NHL is finally releasing one of its’ worse kept secrets. As Chris reported in late-March that the next NHL Winter Classic will be between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. The big question was where would it he held at. Potential sites pretty much came down to Heinz Field, FedEx Field, and Nationals Ballpark. I believe the NHL did a good job in going back to the football stadium because after going to Wrigley Field and Fenway Park the last two seasons, the prestige of going to a baseball stadium was getting played-out. In addition, the Fenway Park classic didn’t do so well in the ratings because it lacked (at the time) contending teams, and big names. That’s what you need to get the casual fan to watch the game amongst the buffet of college football bowl games on January 1. The Winter Classic isn’t for the die-hards like myself or the readers of HWB. The Winter Classic is for the casual “I only know about hockey when they show it on SportsCenter” type of fan. Big, sexy, marketable names and contending teams is what Bettman wants in the Winter Classic to get the viewership NBC wants and needs.

Speaking of NBC, I’d be willing to bet they had a hand in this as they only recognize eight teams: Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Washington, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Boston.

Sidney and Alex will get the chance to duke it out at the Winter Classic in Pittsburgh.
Sidney and Alex will get the chance to duke it out at the Winter Classic in Pittsburgh.

I am kinda happy/kinda upset about this. We knew a Crosby-Ovechkin Winter Classic was on the horizon. This game has everything you need in a “one game showcase” of the NHL: recognizable names of Ovechkin, Crosby, Malkin, and Green. I’m actually more inclined to watch because I know Michigan State won’t be playing on New Year’s Day.  But how can the Penguins get to play in a second outdoor game before Original Six franchises New York and Toronto? Those fan bases, as well as perhaps the Canucks have legitimate beef of why they are being left out of the mix. It could perhaps be because those franchises don’t have marketable players (even Vancouver- Roberto Lulongo doesn’t count. You can’t see his face through a goalie mask) or because they simply aren’t good enough to contend on a year-to-year basis.

If you do want to put money on the Caps playing for the Stanley Cup next season, you should do so. Each season of the Winter Classic, the road participant has played for the Stanley Cup that season. Just ask the Penguins, Red Wings, and now Flyers. In addition, TSN is reporting there will be a second Winter Classic next season. Montreal will travel to Calgary in February to take on the Flames at McMahon Stadium.



One response to “Are We Getting Cosby-Ovechkin’d Out?”

  1. Tony A. Avatar
    Tony A.

    In answer to your question- YES, we are.

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