The Minnesota Wild are one of the many teams hoping to host a Winter Classic in the near future, and the club has several quality venues to consider if the NHL awards it an outdoor game.
One problem seems to be which opponent would square off with the Wild in that scenario.
“The Wild continues its quest to host a Winter Classic. But there are plans to bring a stadium-series game to Minnesota as soon as next season,” Michael Russo writes.
“The Wild wants the opponent to be the Blackhawks, but the NHL is pushing the Dallas Stars as the opponent. If the game happens, it looks as if it will be played at Target Field.”
The Blackhawks and Wild are divisional rivals again thanks to the new realignment format introduced this season. The rivalry between these teams has increased in intensity over the last two Stanley Cup playoffs, and if past outdoor matchups are any indication, a Wild-Blackhawks showdown outside would make sense because the league does like to put rivals in these types of games.
The Dallas angle also is intriguing, and it’s not hard to figure out why the league reportedly wants it to play the Wild outdoors. The Stars franchise was relocated from Minnesota to Dallas in 1993, which was a heartbreaking time for hockey fans in the Twin Cities. It took seven seasons before Minnesota received another pro team when the Wild were added through expansion. With these teams now in the same division, an outdoor meeting would be a good way to help spark a rivalry.
The Blackhawks have already participated in two outdoor games, the 2009 Winter Classic at Wrigley Field and the 2012 Stadium Series at Soldier Field. The Wild have yet to play outdoors.