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Las Vegas Wranglers to hold indoor Winter Classic

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer

LasVegasWranglersIndoorWinterClassicThe ongoing lockout has robbed fans of the NHL Winter Classic, a game that's become the signature event of the league's regular season.

But fear not hockey fans, because the Las Vegas Wranglers of the East Coast Hockey League are here to help fill that void.

Well, OK, maybe not. But they're going to give it their best shot. Or something.

The team announced this week that they're going to hold their own version of the Winter Classic on Jan. 1 against the Ontario Reign. The only catch is that it's not going to be played outside in the cold and snow and elements of someplace like Ann Arbor, Michigan or Buffalo, but in Las Vegas. Indoors. With the doors open.

Seriously.

"The game will feature many arena doors being left open in hope of creating unpredictable breeze patterns,” said Wranglers president Billy Johnson in a team statement. "We are hoping for quite a draft."

So there's that. In other words, it's basically like any other game except the doors will be open.

More from the Wranglers:

A trophy, which is currently being built, will be presented to the winning team and will feature a chain and a padlock somewhere in the design. The emphasis on the chain and lock is as yet undetermined because it's a “budget matter,” said a team representative.

Advance weather forecasts for inside the arena call for intermittent snow for the Indoor Winter Classic, as well as the sound of whistling winds throughout the game.

“We hope that with time the Indoor Winter Classic grows and we will be forced to move it outdoors,” Johnson said.

Fans will be allowed to skate with the Wranglers following the Indoor Winter Classic, and rental skates will be provided at no additional charge.

The Wranglers also proudly point out in their announcement that they've previously held Dick Cheney hunting night, Rod Blagojevich prison uniform night, and Rapture Night: The Last Hockey Game on Earth.

So obviously, like many minor league sports teams, they're used to bizarre and offbeat promotions.

In other upcoming minor league promotions, the Cincinnati Cyclones (also of the ECHL) are going to be celebrating the end of the Mayan calendar on Friday night with an end of the world party during their game with the South Carolina Stingrays.

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

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