Well, its official, the NHL will be playing outdoors again, this time in frosty Buffalo where the Sabres will play the Pittsburgh Penguins on New Years. Tickets go on sale tomorrow morning at 10am and I think I will buy a pair. I'm not so sure I want to freeze my ass off, but I think it will be worth it. It isn't every day that NHL teams play outside. For those who want to stay warm, NBC will be broadcasting it and it should get lousy ratings up against the college football bowl games that are traditionally held on New Years. Typical.
In the promotional materials released by the league, they listed the occasions that they have ... and while the Rangers playing the town's team in Mystery, Alaska wasn't included, their exhibition game against the L.A. Kings in Las Vegas of all places was. Now I had no idea thaty they did that, it happened back in 1991. The New York Times tried to charge money for the article so I only have the lead to share:
"Sure Wayne Gretzky scored a goal, and for that matter the Los Angeles Kings beat the Rangers, 5-2, before a sellout crowd of more than 13,000 spectators, but for all the hockey derring-do Friday night, the exhibition game seemed more an engineering feat than an athletic achievement."
Anyone have more info? Feel free to drop it in the comments.
And just for the curious, the other recent outdoor hockey games (not necessarily NHL) were:
December 9, 2006
Team World vs. Russia
NHL Heritage Classic
November 22, 2003
Montreal Canadiens vs. Edmonton Oilers
Frozen Tundra Classic
Green Bay, Wisconsin
February 11, 2006
Ohio State vs. Wisconsin
East Lansing, Michigan
October 6, 2001
Michigan vs. Michigan State
NHL Pre-Season Exhibition
Las Vegas, Nevada
September 28, 1991
New York Rangers vs. Los Angeles Kings