The NHL’s 2016-17 outdoor game schedule is now complete.
Three days after announcing the 2016 Heritage Classic between the Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers, the league revealed the rest of next season's outdoor game slate.
• Centennial Classic: Detroit Red Wings at Toronto Maple Leafs, BMO Field, Jan. 1, 2017
A rematch of the 2014 Winter Classic will see the Red Wings head outside for the fourth time. and the Maple Leafs celebrate their centennial with their second outdoor game.
Red Wings-Maple Leafs will go up against the final Sunday of the NFL season, and because of that that means the Winter Classic will move to Monday, something that happened for the 2012 game between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers.
• Winter Classic: Chicago Blackhawks at St. Louis Blues, Busch Stadium, Jan. 2, 2017
Now that a venue featuring the name of one of the NHL's sponsors (Coors) played host, Busch Stadium and the city of St. Louis finally get an outdoor game. While this will be the Blues’ first time going outside, the Blackhawks will be involved in their fifth, hoping to improve upon their 1-3-0 record.
While it might be overkill, there's no doubt that having the Blackhawks involved is a good way to generate merchandise, television ratings and ticket sales, hence why your favorite team continually gets passed over.
• Stadium Series: Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins, Heinz Field, Feb. 18, 2017
“[F]acility challenges and the financial investments,” were the obstacles that prevented this game from taking place at Beaver Stadium on the campus of Penn State, according to a school spokesperson, so we go back to Heinz Field, which hosted the 2011 Winter Classic between the Penguins and Washington Capitals. This will be Pittsburgh’s fourth outdoor game and Philadelphia’s third.
The two sides will reportedly meet again outdoors in 2019 at either Lincoln Financial Field or Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on a date to be determined.
The 2016-17 campaign will mark the 50th anniversary of the inaugural NHL seasons for the Blues, Flyers, Penguins and the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings won’t be involved in an outdoor game but will host the 2017 All-Star Game.
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