NHL Winter Classic: New York Tri-State Area Doubleheader for 2012

January 1st, 2011 by Eric Holden Leave a reply »
There are plenty of reasons why the annual NHL Winter Classic draws unprecedented attention to the sport.  It could be the peculiar sight of hockey being played at iconic American baseball and football stadiums or simply the grandiose nature of the event. The first installment of "The Classic" took place on New Year's Day of 2008, pitting the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Buffalo Sabres at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York.  The game drew an NHL record 71,217 fans and posted a 2.6 television rating, making it the most-watched hockey game since 1996.

The Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins will face-off in this year's version of the event, set to take place at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh tonight at 8 p.m.

Looking ahead to 2012, no teams, venue or official date have been announced.  There is a distinct possibility that next season's game won't even happen on New Year's Day.  January 1, 2012 falls on a football Sunday, so it is doubtful that the NHL will want to go head-to-head with the NFL for television ratings on that afternoon.

The NHL has always benefited from experiments to draw ...

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