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Ain't she a 'beaut? Using the power of imagination, one can see the undeniable awesomeness that will be the 2009 NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley Field. Even if it doesn't offer the same "hockey in a snow globe" feel that Buffalo had for the first edition, the Friendly Confines are going to present their own distinctive aesthetics for the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings.

Stu Hackel of the New York Times' Slap Shot blog just wishes there had been some more news value from today's media event at Wrigley:

Gary Bettman was interviewed after the prepared remarks, and concluded his remarks by saying, "Hopefully it will snow a little," which isn't necessarily the best thing for the game conditions. Then came interviews with the Hawks Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane which were nice, but a half hour into the event, there was still no hard news.

Jim Devellano representing the Red Wings was interviewed next, who was happy about playing in "the cathedral of baseball" and exposing the Red Wings brand across the United States, adding it would be "a great opportunity for the league to expose itself" (there's a lot of exposing going on here) but still, there was no news.

And so on. Like Stu said, the NHL followed up with an e-mail that read "ticket information and other NHL Winter Classic 2009 details will be released at a later date." Can't really blame them for taking their time; this game is going to sell faster than a "Dark Knight" IMAX midnight showing.

If you haven't seen it, Icethetics has a rendering of the 1930s-style jersey the Blackhawks are expected to wear. It's a little busy; the Wings are going to be skating against a bunch of hyperactive barber poles.

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