The National Hockey League has announced next years Winter Classic, and its no surprise that its just a remake of what should have been this years outdoor contest. What are the Buffalo Sabres hopes at returning to the wintery Christmas like atmosphere of the Winter Classic? The National Hockey League would have to create multiple outdoor games for the Sabres to get back into the mix.
The National Hockey League is looking at expanding the outdoor game – as well as make sure that more teams have the ability to partake in the festivities. It also doesn’t hurt that the revenues go up drastically when the teams hit the ice outdoors by selling Winter Classic Gear, throwback and homage sweaters. HRR goes up and up and up. It’s a fantastic once in a lifetime experience. How will the Buffalo Sabres get back in the action?
Nobody doubts how much work it would take, but here are some possibilities for the National Hockey League: Christmas Day – Normally the National Hockey League shuts down for Christmas and doesn’t play games. But why? The National Football League monopolizes Thanksgiving! The NHL needs to capitalize on Christmas. Games on Christmas Day might not be the ideal thing to do – as players will want to be with their families – but why not have the game on Christmas Eve – or even Boxing Day to reopen the season after the holiday break? Hockey Day in Canada/America – The Heritage Classic and The Winter Classic would make ideal highlights for these two events. Can you imagine a day filled with hockey games capped off with an incredible outdoor experience? All Star Weekend – 2017.
What better way to feature the 100 anniversary of the National Hockey League as we know it? Instead of single game featuring the best NHL players from that season – expand the field of NHL All Stars so you can come up with four teams (Divisional teams maybe?); and turn the day into a tournament of all-stars with shortened shinny matchups!
New Years Eve/New Years Day – If your going to make a spectacle out of the outdoor game – there are plenty of opportunities to overdevelop the game. Putting an East Coast night game on at New Years Eve – and a West Coast afternoon game on New Years Day. Or do Canada on New Years Eve, and do a United States based game on the next day. No matter how gimmicky you think it is, players like playing in the outdoor games, and the National Hockey League is going to expand the Winter Classic/Heritage Classic brands. There are plenty of opportunities for the NHL to make this happen, and to keep it special.