Is Choosing the Same Teams for Outdoor Games Over and Over Good for the NHL?

January 24th, 2015 by Dave Lozo Leave a reply »

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gary Bettman teetered between overly defensive and needlessly offensive when he was discussing the Winter Classic on the stage Saturday afternoon at Nationwide Arena.

Before announcing the three-game outdoor slate for the 2015-16 season, Bettman attempted to get in front of something that, in a way, was already behind him.

"I know some of you think that these games have some dilutive effect," Bettman said to the assembled media. "If you’ve been to one, you know that’s not the case. The impact that these games have for the people who actually attend them in the markets in which they take place is nothing short of staggering."

Bettman is right, but he's also missing a point.

How can fans and markets feel that "staggering" impact if it's always the same teams playing in outdoor games year after year?

The 2016 Winter Classic will be between the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, while the Stadium Series contests will pit the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis and the Detroit Red W ...

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