Blog Entry

Report: No Heritage Classic in 2011-12 season

Posted on: June 11, 2011 5:27 pm

Sorry to the Canadians out there, but according to's Pierre LeBrun there will be no Heritage Classic next season.

With the introduction of the Winter Classic in recent seasons, the NHL had returned the Heritage Classic to give the Canadian teams a shot at playing outdoors themselves. The first of the outdoor-game fad was played in 2003 when Edmonton hosted Montreal. That game helped spawn what has become the biggest regular-season game in the NHL today, the Winter Classic held on New Year's Day.

This past season the Heritage was revived with Calgary welcoming Montreal to McMahon Stadium.

It's Hockey Night in Canada on aesthetic steroids. The outdoor games have provided an intriguing viewpoint to games and have made for good television. Since Canadian teams won't be picked for the Winter Classic, which the NHL markets to an American audience, the Heritage is designed to have two Canadian teams.

With the return of Winnipeg to the league this year, it would have been great to see the still-unnamed team play outdoors in Canad Inns Stadium.

While there will be no Heritage Classic this upcoming season, it could make a return in the 2012-13 season. I'm all for it as I've found the outdoor games have been a treat to watch, both the U.S. and Canadian editions.

-- Brian Stubits

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:06 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 25, 2009
Posted on: June 15, 2011 2:06 pm

Report: No Heritage Classic in 2011-12 season

Just as well a far as I'm concerned.

It was neat at first and cool for hockey fans who like the "roots" of the game, but I don't see it drawing non hockey fans away from other sports.

Playing on such poor ice we've kind of seen some bad hockey in the last few outdoor games.  Too hard to control the ice when you can't control the weather.

Since: Dec 16, 2009
Posted on: June 14, 2011 11:22 am

Report: No Heritage Classic in 2011-12 season

Misterfamous, I've already come to the conclusion that the All Star Game is and will continue to be completely meaningless. This way, you embrace what the game has become, an exhibition. And you pool it together with the Classic, and I do believe that there's a good weekend for the NHL. Because, first and foremost, the Winter Classic is a regular season game. But, it takes on a different tone. Make it a collaboration, just to try it out for a season, and I think they would be happy with the results. I think people would be far less critical of the All Star game if it was a prelude to the Classic the night before. I thik there's a lot they could do with it, and would like to see them try.

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: June 14, 2011 2:20 am

Report: No Heritage Classic in 2011-12 season


I think I'm mostly in agreement with you.  The Winter Classic has become this abomination that will likely continue to be played in the northern United States only, simply because it's a ratings earner.  I assume the NHL brass have the assumption that hosting the event outside of Boston, NY, Pittsburgh, etc. is simply unrealized profit.  Canadian teams might get to play one day, but they won't ever host it.  They'll continue to get the shaft, and once every few years, some pathetic "Heritage Classic" type of thing as a bit of restitution.

The NHL marketing campaign isn't sick or a little misguided, it's thoroughly broken.  It will market superstar players and "big name" teams as much as possible, because it sees no other way to attract new viewers.  Living in Vancouver now, I see what a true hockeytown can be and how the team can rally fans behind it.  The Winter Classic doesn't reinforce the team concept or community aspect that really catapults fan revenue into huge profits - it's just a shameless attempt to capitalize on an interesting concept.  I like your idea for combining the Winter Classic with the All Star Weekend; the only problem I can foresee is that the All Star game is completely meaningless.  At least when the Caps played the Penguins this past season, the game had some value to the standings.

Since: Jan 8, 2008
Posted on: June 13, 2011 7:55 pm

Report: No Heritage Classic in 2011-12 season

Wasn't the game in Pittsburgh almost cancelled because of the weather being too warm with rain?  Here is one vote that the hockey gods bring down their wrath upon the NHL and bring about climate change more rapidly.  Tongue out

Since: Nov 20, 2007
Posted on: June 13, 2011 12:12 pm

Report: No Heritage Classic in 2011-12 season

Outdoor games are pretty awesome. I am glad they do it. They should have more. The NHL needs this kind of exposure.

Since: Dec 16, 2009
Posted on: June 13, 2011 11:18 am

Report: No Heritage Classic in 2011-12 season

Misterfamous, This topic really gets under my skin. There was quite a gap between Heritage Classics. My only concern is, why there has to be 2 seperate outdoor games in the first place? Part of the premise of the Winter Classic was to show fans how the game originated, which happened by playing outdoors. But, it was played outdoors on the frozen ponds in Canada. I may be speaking out of place, but I find it to be a slap in the face to Canadian fans of how they're treated by the league. The game they've grown up knowing and loving gets altered, not because its better for the game, but to gain viewership in new markets who are just being exposed to hockey and need more offense to stay interested. There's a lot of things that the league passes up on by highlighting the Crosby / Ovechkin show as much as they can. I would love to see a cross border matchup for the Winter Clasic. Well, first I'd like to see them give it a rest for a year, then come back next season with the Classic. But, I'd also like to see them experiment with combining the Winter Classic and All Star / Skills challenge into a weekend long event to see how it goes.

Since: Nov 14, 2009
Posted on: June 13, 2011 9:20 am

Report: No Heritage Classic in 2011-12 season

As pointed out previously, there have been only 2 "Heritage Classics" in Canada in the first place, so having it off the shelf again isn't a big surprise.  I think leaving Canadian teams out of the running for the Winter Classic is a mistake though.  Imagine next year's Winter Classic being Montreal Vs Boston in Boston.  Or, based solely on the cup final, maybe have the two teams in the finals play their first "rematch" at the Winter Classic, neutral site if it is two southern teams.  
  The sad fact is that if the Winter Classic is US team vs US team then the Canadian channels have to buy the broadcast rights from NBC whereas, if a Canadian team is involved, CBC already has broadcast rights due to their contract with the NHL.  So yes, in the overall scheme of things, I guess there is more money by excluding Canada from the Winter Classic.

Since: May 17, 2011
Posted on: June 13, 2011 9:09 am

Report: No Heritage Classic in 2011-12 season

Just dumb, Betteman you had some great story lines here: possibly the first Canadian cup winner since '93 Vancouver could have hosted an outdoor game hell you could have made it against Boston and it would've been huge, or there's Winnipeg returning to the NHL, or put an outdoor game at a neutral site in Quebec (I know you're probably afraid a game like that would do better then an American game NBC puts on), which probably explains why Toronto or Montreal haven't been allowed to host a game.
Finally, if you really wanted to expand your base, why don't you let a Western team host a game? Why not the Aves at Mile High hosting a Pacific team or the Wild or Blues playing host to a Pacific team? I'm an American that lives on the East coast and both premises make sense to me, what's wrong with you Gary?

Since: Apr 7, 2009
Posted on: June 13, 2011 3:21 am

Report: No Heritage Classic in 2011-12 season

ok, no heritage classic for the next season, can i ask, why? nobodys know---

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or