The Hat Trick is a little late in getting this post out on the NHL Winter Classic…but better late than never!
Needless to say the Hat Trick enjoyed the Winter Classic immensely. Not only was the Hat Trick’s Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings playing but they came from behind and won big against the Chicago Blackhawks, one of the NHL’s oldest rivalries. The game was fantastic and it was crazy to see Wrigley Field with an ice rink in the middle of the park…but the stands were packed with fans just like a Cubs game. Mrs. East Coast Wing, a former Chicagoan, enjoyed it as well and could even see her old building from some of the television shots.
The Hat Trick is a BIG proponent of the NHL continuing this game format. The game received some of the highest television ratings for ice hockey ever and it was a nice diversion from all of the college bowl game mania that takes place on New Year’s Day. There are so many good rivalries and venues available across the country for this kinds of game…Fenway Park in Boston, Yankee Stadium in New York, Mile High (INVESCO) in Denver, Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Heinz Field in Pittsburgh or even go to a neutral city like Cleveland, Ohio and play the game in Cleveland Browns Stadium, right on cold and windy Lake Erie!
It’s great to see hockey make a comeback after the strike year and the Hat Trick thinks that the NHL has found a great format to bring more fans into the fold. The Hat Trick plans to watch every year, even if the Red Wings aren’t in the game, although it sure was a nice way to start the New Year with a big Red Wing’s win in a big game. Since I’m sure Commissioner Gary Bettman is a Hat Trick reader we will be hearing about the next Winter Classic location very soon…