If you’re one that’s tired of seeing the same teams involved in the Jan. 1 NHL Winter Classic, prepare to continued to be upset. According to WEEI, the worst-kept secret in hockey will happen next season with the Boston Bruins set to host the Montreal Canadiens on New Year’s Day 2016 at Gillette Stadium.
It is unknown how preparations for the event will affect the Patriots, as Jan. 1 typically falls right around Week 17 of the NFL season.
After TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported in December that the Bruins were the favorites to host the game, Red Sox COO Sam Kennedy said that the Red Sox hoped to see the game return to Fenway Park, but acknowledged that Gillette’s seating capacity of 68,756 might make it difficult for the Sox and Fenway (37,400 capacity) to win the bid.
ESPN Boston's Joe MacDonald Tweeted that the announcement will be made during All-Star Weekend.
The NFL hasn't released its 2016 schedule just yet, but Week 17 will fall on Sunday, Jan. 3. That could mean the New England Patriots finish their season with back-to-back road games to give the NHL time to construct the rink and prepare Gillette Stadium. (Or the NFL schedules the Pats a Week 16 game for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, which fall on a Thursday and Friday.)
The 2016 Winter Classic would mark Boston’s second appearance in the game after they hosted at Fenway Park in 2010. The Canadiens have not played an outdoor game on New Year’s Day, but were the visitors for the 2003 and 2011 Heritage Classics.
With one domino about to fall, we’ll likely soon hear announcements about the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild hosting Stadium Series games, along with the Winnipeg Jets getting the Heritage Classic.
A Habs-Bruins match-up could also result in pretty good television with a behind-the-scenes show like EPIX Road to the Winter Classic or HBO 24/7. P.K. Subban. Milan Lucic. Zdeno Chara. Brad Marchand. Brendan Gallagher. Let the chirps begin!
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