Buffalo Sabres, Winter Classic, Ticket Drives


Good morning, Buffalo Sabres fans. Though the Buffalo Sabres don’t return to action for a week – thank you, All Star break – other NHL teams are still in action tonight and tomorrow. Later this week, players will head to Columbus for the 2015 NHL All-Star Game, or off on vacations or elsewhere. But for now – we’ve got some hockey news to discuss.

First, a report came out this past weekend that the Boston Bruins will play host to the Montreal Canadiens in the 2016 NHL Winter Classic. If the report holds true, the Bruins will host the Habs in an Original Six matchup at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA.

An official announcement could be coming as early as this week, during the All-Star break. This would be Boston’s second time hosting a Winter Classic, after the 2010 event at Fenway Park.

This begs the question: how long will it be before the Buffalo Sabres play in another outdoor game? Whether it be in Buffalo or not, the Buffalo Sabres have only played in one outdoor game so far, and many teams are now starting to get repeat games. If the Buffalo Sabres were to host another outdoor game, where would it be held? I doubt that the NHL would approve another Winter Classic at Ralph Wilson Stadium, so where else could it be held?

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Perhaps the city of Buffalo will have to wait to host another Winter Classic until the new Buffalo Bills stadium is finished, wherever it ends up. But even so – can’t the Buffalo Sabres at the very least be the away opponent in another outdoor game? How long will it take?

Either way, an Original Six matchup of the Bruins and Habs is always a good show, and it would be an even more spectacular event if held outdoors on Winter Classic ice. This would also be just the second Winter Classic to feature an American team facing a Canadian team.

Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, the big day draws nearer as prospective team owners will hold a season-ticket drive on February 10 to determine interest in a team in Sin City.

Businessman Bill Foley, along with Joe and Gavin Maloof, will hold the drive. A Las Vegas team would play at the MGM Resorts-Anschutz Entertainment Group arena, which is currently under construction. Foley has said that the goal is to get 10,000 people to sign up for season tickets.

The NHL has not committed to expansion or to relocating a franchise to Las Vegas. The ticket drive is simply a way to garner interest in a potential franchise in Las Vegas in years to come.

Speaking of new franchises – could San Diego soon become a part of the American Hockey League?

If word holds true, the Anaheim Ducks could be moving their AHL affiliate to San Diego, helping to expand the AHL and create a “new” West Division. There’s already a hockey team in San Diego that’s had some success – the Gulls, of the Western States Hockey League – so there’s little doubt that the AHL could be a success there, too. [U-T San Diego]

Finally, both Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel had overtime-winning goals this past weekend for their respective teams. Today, the two players will find out just where they stand in midterm draft rankings, as NHL Central Scouting is expected to release its latest rankings this morning. Stay tuned for more….. will one of them end up playing with the Buffalo Sabres soon?

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