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Tag:Winter Classic
Posted on: December 30, 2011 2:58 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2011 3:16 pm
 

Winter Classic in Miami? Panthers would love it

By Brian Stubits

Is there any doubt there's nothing more exciting in the regular season than the Winter Classic? It's by far and away the most-watched game of the season, it has the HBO 24/7 that leads up to it and is treated by the NHL for what it is: the season's marquee game. So every city wants to get their hands on it. Even Miami.

Could you imagine that picture being the setting for the Winter Classic? There are some that can.

Yes, the Florida Panthers would love to host the NHL's annual outdoor game (as would probably 29 other franchises). But there's that whole problem of playing in the tropics and ice, they don't really go together, right? Well, the Panthers think it could happen.

Thanks to the new baseball park opening in a couple of months for baseball's Miami Marlins, it could happen -- meaning literally, they could pull it off. That's because the new ballpark will have a retractable roof, opening the possibility of building a solid rink that would be more than playable.

George Richards of the Miami Herald reports that the Panthers brass would love to speak to the NHL about the possibility of the game in Miami, as farfetched as it seems.

Plus, some of the players would love to play where it's warm.

“Everyone loves coming down here and it would be neat to have a tropical outdoor game," said Kris Versteeg, who played in the Chicago Winter Classic. "People would travel from all over for that. The game and the weather would be great for the fans. It was awesome playing at Wrigley, but I don't want to play in that cold again. But it was a memory I'll always have."

To further lend credence to the idea that it could happen in Florida, remember that the Kings and Rangers played an outdoor game in Las Vegas in the preseason back in 1991 and that worked just fine. With the help of a retractable roof, NHL-quality ice is possible.

But the practicality of it? I'd say very, very low. It's not like the Panthers are a big draw in the NHL, although their success this season helps a little bit. Plus, Florida will have to get in line.

It's expected that next year's game will be held in Washington D.C., likely at Nationals Park. If it doesn't happen next year, it will happen the year after that in the nation's capital. It figures that Detroit/Michigan would be in the conversation. The same goes for the Twin Cities, Denver, St. Louis and even San Francisco. Adrian Dater of SI.com and the Denver Post is begging the NHL to bring the showcase West.

I agree with the sentiment that the NHL should try and drift out of the Northeastern corridor a little for the game, but that's the U.S. hockey hub, so I think those cities need to appear frequently in the rotation. As I said, I think Florida would be way down the list, to the point of not even being on it despite the possibilities.

It would be fantastic for the Panthers and hockey in Florida, would give it tremendous local exposure, but I'm not sure how much the reciprocal effect would be for the NHL. It has more of a Jim Carrey in Dumb & Dumber vibe to it than anything, but is fun to think about.

On top of it all, I can't imagine the outrage that would come from hockey fans if the game were played in 70-degree weather.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: November 28, 2011 9:33 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 10:30 am
 

Brandon Dubinsky rips Flyers Shelley, Rinaldo

By Brian Stubits

December 14 can't get here soon enough.

The inaugural edition of HBO's 24/7 hockey series was gripping and award-winning. I don't think I met a hockey fan that didn't enjoy every minute of it (except those turned off by Bruce Boudreau's potty mouth, that is). The rivalry between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins only sweetened the pot.

That's why I can't wait for this year's show to start. The two sides are ramping up the rivalry nice and early in the season.

In case you didn't already know, the Flyers and Rangers don't like each other. The Rangers have two teams in their market, but probably dislike the team from Philadelphia the most. I don't think you can say the same about the Flyers due to their feelings with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but the Rangers are close behind.

When the two played over the Thanksgiving weekend, Brandon Prust decided to mix it up with not one but two Flyers. The game came just after the 12-minute trailer for the series aired on HBO over the weekend. In the teaser, a clip of the Flyers' Jody Shelley was shown where he was talking about some of his former teammates in New York and calling Brandon Dubinsky a weasel. Here's the teaser in case you missed it.

Of course it didn't take long for that to get back to Dubinsky. It took even less time for him to respond. Check out what he told Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.

“First of all, if I was him, I’d keep my mouth shut if I don’t play, especially since I never see him on the ice,” Dubinsky said of Shelley, who has played in only 10 of Philadelphia’s 23 games this season. “He’s usually just yapping from the bench, and I guess now he’s yapping from behind the video camera. So that’s about all I have to say.”

That was not all Dubinsky had to say. “Jody Shelley - it won’t be long before he’s out of the league, because he’s a terrible hockey player,” he added.

Dubinsky didn't limit his words for only Shelley, he threw some barbs in Zach Rinaldo's direction, too.

“I think he’s an idiot,” Dubinsky said of Rinaldo. “And I think that, I mean, he’s not really a good hockey player. So if that’s what he tries to do to get under our skin, I don’t think it works very well. He’s not very effective at it. I think they should just keep putting him on the ice, because he’s a liability against us.”

Some good ol' trash talk is great. Here's hoping that the month of November has a lot more waiting for us.

More Winter Classic News Here

H/t to Pro Hockey Talk

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: November 28, 2011 4:45 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 10:31 am
 

Here is the Rangers winter classic jersey

By: Adam Gretz

The New York Rangers had a ceremony on Monday afternoon to show off their new threads for the Winter Classic on Jan. 2 in Philadelphia, where they will take on their heated rivals, the Flyers, at Citizens Bank Park.

The Flyers already unveiled their jersey last week, and this is the jersey the Rangers have decided to go with.

It's a simple, throwback look. What do you think, Rangers fans: Yay or nay?

xissh

More Winter Classic News Here

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: November 3, 2011 4:58 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 10:26 am
 

Winter Classic tix start at $522 on Stub Hub

By Brian Stubits

Want to take part in NHL history when the first outdoor game is played in the City of Brotherly Love to open the new year? OK, but it'll cost ya!

Adam Gretz has already gone over the difficulties of buying tickets to the game through the official avenues, i.e. the Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers and NHL. People in Philly just a tad angry with the plan.

So what about Stub Hub? Sure, you can get tickets there ... starting at $522.90. Look again in 10 minutes and the price is probably higher.

I'm somebody who still loves to go to a sporting event live. Hockey in person? Love it. Football from the stadium? Can't get enough. NBA from the arena? I can at least watch that. Being at the event just makes things better.

But this? I don't see who would want to spend that kind of money to sit in freezing temperatures so far away from the rink that you can't probably even see the game.

Of course you could always sit in the Hall of Fame Club at Philadelphia's Citizen's Bank Park. Those seats are only going for $4,499.00.

H/t to NYRangersblog.com

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: October 28, 2011 3:58 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 10:27 am
 

Gretzky says no to Winter Classic Alumni Game

By Brian Stubits

In the last two days, all of the Winter Classic news surrounded the roster for the Philadelphia Flyers Alumni Game roster. Eric Lindros: In. John LeClair: In. Mikael Renberg: Not so much.

But what about the Rangers side? The names like Mark Messier and Brian Leetch seem like givens, but the name everybody was hoping to see, Wayne Gretzky? It doesn't look promising on that front.

“No, I’ll be with my family for the holidays," Gretzky told Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com. “Plus, they don’t need to see a 50-year-old slow guy out there!"

Gretzky is aware that the game has a lot of guys 50 and older, right? Even if he were 80 I think people would love to see Gretzky out there. The family reason, though? Hard to argue with that.

Now if this holds and Messier can't get in his old friend's ear, it does seem sort of right. After all, Gretzky did play a little in New York, but he's identified with the Oilers and Kings. In a way it would seem cheap to me to have Gretzky with the Rangers in an alumni game. He spent just the final three seasons of his career in the Big Apple. Not exactly the defining days of his career.

Still, I can only imagine that Gretzky would be the best player if he took part.

Photo: Getty Images

Posted on: October 27, 2011 11:57 am
Edited on: November 29, 2011 10:27 am
 

Renberg to miss Winter Classic, Legion reunion

By Brian Stubits

As the great Meatloaf once said Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad.

That looks like all the Flyers will get for their Winter Classic Alumni Game when it comes to their old Legion of Doom line.

On Wednesday, Eric Lindros confirmed that he will take part in the "game before the game" this season as will his old linemate John LeClair. That just left Mikael Renberg as the question mark to complete the great line from the mid 90s. Alas, it's not to be.

Renberg is now working as an analyst in his native Sweden and regrettably announced that he won't be able to make it to Philadelphia due to his job responsibilities. Sweden is slated to play Russia in a World Junior Championships. Oh sure, like that's a big deal in Sweden. Pfff!

In an article posted on SVT.se's website, Renberg was quoted as turning having to turn down the invite with regret. Thanks to Google Translate, here is his quote, in perfectly broken English that comes with straight translations.

"Would not it be great to meet Eric and John, but now I have a contract with SVT and have to do my job, a very enjoyable one."

So this Legion of Doom will look more like the wrestling duo instead of the terrific trio in Philly.

Maybe the more appropriate song is Ain't That a Shame by Fats Domino.

H/t to Pro Hockey Talk?

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: October 26, 2011 12:50 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 10:28 am
 

Eric Lindros confirms spot as Winter Classic alum

By Brian Stubits

Former Flyers star Eric Lindros told a Toronto radio station on Wednesday that he will take part in the Winter Classic Alumni Game, ending the speculation if he would or not.

"Yeah, Paul Holmgren gave me a shout about a month and a half ago, and we talked back and forth a little bit," Lindros told Greg Brady and Jim Lang on the Fan 590 in Toronto. "I was real happy to hear his voice and to get the invitation and yeah, I told him a while back that I’d fly down and have some fun.

"I haven’t seen Johnny [John LeClair] in a little while. I know they’re trying to get in touch with Mikael [Renberg], I've been trying myself."

Of course Renberg and LeClair made up the other 2/3 of the Legion of Doom line in Philadelphia. (Side note: It makes me sad to see how old footage from the 1990s looks now.)

That line was so good it totaled 176 points in just 48 games of the strike-shortened 1994-95 season.

The hope is that they will all be back for the game. Lindros confirmed what most assumed considering LeClair still lives in the Philly area, that one of his linemates will join him. As for Renberg, well they are still awaiting word there. But you have to assume they'll get him on the ice, right? You can't bring back only a part of the line, you have to bring it all back. It's like Led Zeppelin going on tour without Robert Plant, at that point it's just some really good guys in a band.

More good news for the Flyers fans? Holmgren tells Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com that the old LCB line will be back, too.

“That’s the plan, though: to have Eric’s line back together, as well as [Bobby Clarke]’s line with [Reggie] Leach and [Bill] Barber and other famous lines in Flyers history,” said Holmgren.

The rumor mill has it that the Rangers are trying to get Wayne Gretzky to play on their alumni team, but no answer as of yet. If he does sign up, I wonder how fans are going to like that ticket policy for the Winter Classic then?

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: September 16, 2011 10:31 am
Edited on: September 16, 2011 12:53 pm
 

Daily Skate: Seabrook takes stand on head hits

By Brian Stubits

ANOTHER CALL: Meanwhile, another player has stepped up to take a stand on the hits to the head Crosby and other players have been campaigning against this offseason. The Blackhawks' Brent Seabrook has made his feelings clear on head shots, wanting to see more punishment (CSN Chicago). Seabrook has suffered his own concussions in the past two seasons.

MCCRIMMON UPDATE: While most of the Lokomotiv players that were aboard the tragic flight that went down in Russia have been laid to rest, coach Bobby McCrimmon still hasn't. The funeral services for the coach of the Lokomotiv team and former Red Wings assistant will take place this weekend (NHL.com) in the Detroit suburb of Farmington, Mich.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! The pre-production work has begun on the next installment of HBO's 24/7 series, this year featuring the Winter Classic combatants of the Rangers and Flyers. On Thursday the crew from HBO was with New York, grabbing some promotional footage (Pro Hockey Talk) for the popular show.

BRING HIM BACK: Speaking of the Winter Classic, the fans in Philadelphia are trying to bring back Eric Lindros for the game. A petition is making its way around to try and bring back for the former Flyers star as part of the alumni celebration.

FILLING A VOID: The Bruins have a hole to fill in their leadership program with the retirement of Mark Recchi. So who whould wear the voided A? Joe Haggerty at Comcast Sports Net New England suggests that Shawn Thornton is ready and a great choice.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

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