The NHL enjoyed tremendous success with its outdoor games this past season, with all six of them giving fans and players incredible memories.
Before the 2014-15 regular-season schedule was released Sunday, there were reports that the league would stage just two outdoor games next year — the 2015 Winter Classic between the Washington Capitals and the Chicago Blackhawks, and another game.
According to Eric Duhatschek of The Globe and Mail, the other outdoor spectacle likely will be a showdown between Pacific Division rivals in Northern California.
“… it is believed that a Feb. 21 date between the Kings and the Sharks will also be played outdoors in the Bay Area, after the NHL successfully pulled off an outdoor game at Dodger Stadium last January,” Duhatschek writes. “The NHL is firming up the details of its outdoor schedule, though it is believed the number of games will be sharply reduced from the six that were on the schedule a year ago.”
The Sharks would have a few venue options when/if they host an outdoor game, including AT&T Park (home of MLB’s San Francisco Giants) and Levi’s Stadium (the new home of the San Francisco 49ers).
If these are the two outdoor games for next season, then the NHL really has dropped the ball. There are many more appealing matchups to choose from. For example, a Bruins-Canadiens rivalry matchup outdoors would be amazing, and a game in Minnesota — preferably against the Dallas Stars — would be fantastic as well.