Thursday, January 1, 2009

How Do the Flyers Classic?

It's the second intermission of the Winter Classic now, Detroit up 4-3 on the 'Hawks at Wrigley (setting the stage for a big hometeam comeback, I betcha). The game has been pretty awesome, the setting is awesome, and the hype is beyond awesome.

So how do the Flyers get a piece of the action? Here are what I think would be the Flyers' best three chances to get into a Winter Classic game. (Warning: None of these would take place in Philly, sorry)

1. Philadelphia Flyers @ Washington Capitals. If the NHL gives DC a bid (likely because of Ovechkin), the Flyers would be the obvious choice of opponent. We're the Caps' closest opponent, a long time rival, and Pittsburgh has already had a shot at a Winter Classic. The game could be at some specially created rink down by the monuments, in the shadow of the Capitol or something. It'd be pretty sweet. Alternatively, the game could be held at a more neutral site in Baltimore (maybe Camden Yards), which is as major an in-between city as exists between two NHL rivals.

2. Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins @ Penn State. This scenario has been getting the most hype. It has a lot of pluses, such as a neutral location, Battle of Pennsylvania themes, enormous Happy Valley capacity (100k+ would easily be biggest ever), and two teams with no love lost between them. The reason I think it's less likely than Flyers-Caps is because of Pittsburgh's previous Winter Classic participation. I have to think the NHL is going to let a few more years pass before they start recycling teams.

3. Philadelphia Flyers @ New York Rangers. The Rangers are more likely to be slated against the Islanders, Devils, and even Bruins, but this scenario isn't impossible. Division rivals who play exciting, nasty hockey, from two big nearby cities. The venues would be cool, too. Yankee Stadium or Central park would be the front-runners.
I don't see any of these scenarios happening next season (Montreal-Boston at Fenway seems like the odds on bet), but I would be surprised NOT to see the Flyers in a Winter Classic by 2012 at the latest.


DMG said...

I think Penguins/Flyers at Penn State is the most likely. Getting a rink built in D.C. presents too many problems, weather-wise, I would think and even though the Penguins have already played in a classic I don't think the league could pass up the chance to market Crosby vs. Ovechkin.

Reed-CK said...

I really think the next Winter Classic will be Rangers/Bruins at the new Yankee Stadium.