NHL Ready for Worst With Warm, Wet Forecast for Winter Classic in Pittsburgh


There are ominous forecasts, and then there's 100 percent chance of showers. That's what the NHL could be dealing with in Pittsburgh on Saturday where the Penguins and Capitals are supposed to be playing this year's Winter Classic.

According to ESPN.com, the league is scrambling to develop a contingency plan for Saturday's game, where the temperature is slated to be in the low-to-mid-50s, with 100 percent chance of showers for the outdoor event at Heinz Field.

The report cites a league source that said the NHL would be willing to wait as long until 8 p.m. ET, to start the game, a full seven hours after the originally scheduled 1 p.m. puck drop. That decision is influenced by the NBC, who is carrying the game, as the network is scheduled to air Saturday Night Live at 11:30 p.m.

If the game is unable to be played on Saturday, it will be moved to noon on Sunday. Of course, that would provide some TV ratings-related issues for the league and NBC, as they would be going up against Week 17 of NFL action.

Still, despite that, the NHL insists that safety for all is the greatest concern, and warm weather and rainfall will not be conducive to that on an outdoor rink.

Weather hasn't been a problem in the previous three Winter Classic games, nor did it disrupt the Heritage Classic, the NHL's first outdoor regular season game, played in 2003 in Edmonton.


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