February 16, 2016. At least, that’s the date of the Minnesota Wild outdoor game might be according to Pioneer Press columnist Charley Walters, who dropped that date into his Sunday column under a header that read “DON’T PRINT THAT.”
The entirety of that section reads, “Look for the Wild to play an outdoor NHL game on Feb. 16, 2016, at Target Field.” That’s it. That is 100% of the information printed on this in his column, which may explain the header.
It’s comically bereft of information for a pretty big statement to hockey fans. What makes you think that? How do you know? Who is the source of this information? Did Ticketmaster screw up again? Is it clever wordplay and the team is going to play a “NHL game” called NHL 15 outside in the snow for charity?
I think there’s something I’m missing here. A joke maybe? I’m not on the inside I guess. Maybe Walters wants to poke a stick into the wasps nest? (If so, I guess it worked. Here we are, right?) If he’s got some good information wouldn’t he milk it for more than a single sentence buried in the middle of a column that’s mostly about Teddy Bridgewater? We all kind of expect the Wild to get a game in 2016 (maybe falsely—I have no source or reason to believe that other than a good feeling and the 2014 visit from Gary Bettman), but why that exact date? Charley Walters, you are to sports columns what Matthew Barney is to feature films. I think I like what I see, but I’m not really sure what I’m seeing.
It’s no secret that Wild fans get sweaty when they hear someone talk about outdoor games. They want it and they think they deserve it. How sweaty do they get? When it was announced this summer that the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings would be playing the league’s sole Stadium Series game this season (the Capitals had previously been announced as the host of the January 1 Winter Classic), some sites ran the news under the headline that Wild would playing all of their games indoors in the 2014-15 season.
People who like the Wild, people who manage the Wild, and people who own the Wild are clamoring to make this happen and according to Walters, expect it on exactly February 16.
I don’t know, but there you have it. February 16, 2016 at Target Field, I guess. Get your tickets some time.
Until then, there’s always Hockey Day Minnesota.