In a land of 10,000 frozen lakes that calls itself the “State of Hockey”, it’s nearly a crime that Minnesota has yet to host or even play in one of the National Hockey League’s very desirable outdoor games. Actually, considering Los Angeles and Anaheim have already played each other at Dodger Stadium, I’d say it is a crime.
Fortunately for Minnesota Wild fans, it appears the long wait may finally be over. According to the Star Tribune’s Michael Russo, the team is still in pursuit of the “big one”–a Winter Classic–but could host a Coors Light Stadium Series game as early as next season. The Minnesota ownership and brass is said to be pushing hard for a game against the Blackhawks, but the league is more interested in the history between the state and the former Minnesota North Stars, now renamed the Dallas Stars. However, with the way the divisions have been realigned, any team within the Central–aside from maybe Nashville–would make for a good game. Sorry, Preds fans, it’s not that your team is bad, it’s just based on the lack of pure, raw hatred, history and compete level between the two teams.
Chicago and Minnesota is just a classic matchup, and there is certainly a lot of history and nostalgia between Minnesota and Dallas. That said, the Wild only further strengthened their rivalry with the Avs after beating them in such thrilling fashion in round one of the 2014 playoffs. Also, there is very little love lost between Minnesota and Winnipeg, and Jets fans travel even better than Blackhawks fans. Finally, St. Louis always makes for a physical, gritty affair, but the Blues’ recent domination of the Wild may not make for a good game.
No matter who the opponent may be, Wild fans should be ecstatic either way. And it gets even better–Target Field is said to be the likely destination. Imagine it, folks. Snow falling on an NHL sheet of ice in the picturesque, intimate setting of the Twins’ ball park with fireworks going off overhead and over 40,000 screaming fans just excited to have the opportunity to freeze their hind ends off while watching some outdoor puck. Fix me up a Schweigert hot dog and I’m there.