Chicago Blackhawks get a New Year’s Eve date with the St. Louis Blues for the Winter Classic

How about a sunset hockey game on New Year’s Eve at Wrigley Field?

The date and time have been set for next season’s Winter Classic: The Chicago Blackhawks will host the St. Louis Blues at 4 p.m. on Dec. 31.

Wrigley became the venue of choice through some impromptu discussions (and speedy negotiations) between the Hawks, the NHL and the Chicago Cubs.

This will be the first time the Winter Classic hasn’t been held in January, and it will be the league’s second December outdoor game. The other was the NHL100 Classic on Dec. 16, 2017, between the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators at Ottawa’s Lansdowne Park.

With this game, the Hawks will take the league lead on several fronts:

  • It will be their seventh regular-season outdoor game, breaking a tie with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers.

  • It will be the Hawks’ fifth Winter Classic, breaking a tie with the Boston Bruins.

  • The Hawks will be the only hockey team to have played at Wrigley twice, though last year the Bruins became the first to host a second game at an MLB ballpark (Fenway Park).

The Hawks are 1-5-0 in outdoor games, including a 4-1 loss to the Blues on Jan. 2, 2017, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis and a 6-4 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Jan 1, 2009, at Wrigley.

The Hawks’ lone victory: a 5-1 win against the Penguins on March 1, 2014, at Soldier Field as part of the Stadium Series.