I get a little annoyed each year when the Winter Classic is announced. Well, almost every year. Obviously I liked the one in 2009. Other than that one year though, it has become the NHL Eastern Conference Classic. Four times it has featured a team from Pennsylvania. Four times it has been played by teams in the East. I get that the Western Conference is made up of a great deal of teams that don’t get much snow and a few Canadian teams that Bettman won’t give the time of day to, but there is one match up that would do great in a Winter Classic.
Detroit vs Columbus at the Big House. The Blue Jackets aren’t exactly our biggest rival, but they could be up there in no time. All we need is a hockey game between Detroit and Columbus at either Michigan Stadium or the shoe. I give the nod to Michigan Stadium because the NHL would also have a shot at the attendance record for a hockey game which was previously set… at Michigan Stadium. The only down side would be the color mismatch. Cheering for a team in red at the Big House would be strange, but we’d get over it.
This would also convert some casual fans who don’t watch hockey but are rabid fans of either the Wolverines or Buckeyes. In 2009, the NHL embraced baseball traditions during the Winter Classic in order to appeal to baseball fans who may have been watching. They had players shooting pucks (or trying to) through the uprights at Heinz Field. A game at the Big House could feature Desmond Howard and Kirk Herbstreit giving useless pregame predictions based solely on their own bias. Whoever is coaching in Columbus at the time could wear a sweater vest. This stuff is so obvious!
But no. Another game in Pennsylvania. What are your suggestions for the 2013 Winter Classic?