The Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers kick off the 2010 Winter Classic this afternoon at Fenway Park in Boston and discussions inside league circles are already on-going about the 2011 participants.
The Washington Capitals were a finalist for the 2010 game are believed to have been pegged internally as one of the 2011 participants with the New York Rangers among 1-2 teams being discussed as the Capitals opponent.
League Buzz: Has Yankee stadium hosting a college football bowl game between Christmas and New Year’s Day for each of the next four seasons, opened the door for a Ovechkin – Crosby Winter Classic in 2011?
According to the Washington Post, “A league source with knowledge of the situation confirmed Thursday that Washington is the NHL’s strongest candidate to participate in the fourth annual game next New Year’s Day.”
“One scenario for next year’s Winter Classic being discussed informally among league officials would pit the Capitals and New York Rangers at Yankee Stadium. That plan, though, recently hit a stumbling block when the Yankees announced that they plan to host a college football bowl game between Christmas and New Year’s Day for each of the next four seasons. Once a venue is secured, the league needs more than week to set up boards and ice.”
The Washington Post adds, “The Capitals could alternately be matched up against Sidney Crosby and the rival Penguins at a Pittsburgh venue, another possibility being informally discussed, the source said.”
I spoke to a team official this morning who claims a Capitals – Penguins matchup at either PNC Park or Camden Yards has been discussed inside league circles.
The league would love to put a Crosby – Ovechkin matchup on center stage but a stumbling block according to my source will be the backlash from the other 28 teams because Pittsburgh participated in the game two years ago.
We’ll see where this goes in the next couple months when the planning stages become more prominent.