Outdoor hockey will come to Los Angeles before it ever comes to the Twin Cities. And it will when the LA Kings play host to the Anaheim Ducks at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 25th, as part of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series. It’s not even a Winter Classic, and SoCal still gets an outdoor game before the State of Hockey.
Instead, the league is expected to announce on Saturday morning that the Washington Capitals will be hosting the 2015 Classic, with the lockout postponing last season’s matchup of Detroit and Toronto to this year.
When owner Craig Leipold and the Minnesota Wild inquired three years ago, the league told them they needed to acquire marquee players, become a playoff team and be more marketable. They’ve done all that. The problem is, they need to do it again.
They signed the top two free agents in the league, they traded for Pominville, they made the playoffs and their stars, young guns and sharp new family of jerseys make them extremely marketable. Unfortunately, they need to sign Vanek, the young guns need to live up to the hype and Minnesota has to make the playoffs again in a new division featuring tough teams like Chicago and St. Louis. Not only do they have to make the playoffs, however, they have to make a considerably impressive run, too. Only then, will the league recognize the Wild and Target Field as the most ideal suitor for a Winter Classic.
With that said, there’s another check box to add to Wild GM Chuck Fletcher’s to-do list. No, big deal, right? I think the biggest question we should be asking ourselves is, how does a team with the video below not have a Winter Classic?
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