Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images
The NHL’s Stadium Series will heat up even in next winter’s frigid temperatures, because that’s what happens whenever the Philadelphia Flyers face their hated intrastate rival Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Pens and Flyers will clash on Feb. 18, 2017, at Heinz Field in the Steel City, the league announced Wednesday night, in the first-ever outdoor meeting between the two teams, though both have played in Winter Classics before.
Penn State’s Beaver Stadium had seemed like a lay-up choice of neutral venue to host the game, but ESPN reported last month that “it’s believed financial demands by the university soured the teams” on that option.
The university essentially confirmed that report, telling Penn State’s Daily Collegian student newspaper that it had required “financial investments” to remedy “facility challenges” and “limitations” that ultimately ruled Beaver Stadium out.
“We are always looking for innovative and creative opportunities to provide unique experiences at Penn State,” a university spokesperson told the paper. “Hosting an NHL stadium event is of interest, but isn’t feasible at this time due to facility challenges and the financial investments necessary to remedy those limitations.”
The Nittany Lions’ loss, though, is Pittsburgh’s gain. Rivals since beginning play in 1967-68, the Penguins and Flyers absolutely hate each other, from Sidney Crosby and Claude Giroux on down.
The NHL’s outdoor slate wil also include the Toronto Maple Leafs hosting the Detroit Red Wings at BMO Field in Toronto on New Year’s Day in the first-ever Centennial Classic.
The 2014 Winter Classic betwen the Wings and Leafs at the Big House on Michigan’s campus was a true sight to see. This rematch will help honor the centennial year of the Maple Leafs, one of the Original Six franchises.
The 2017 Winter Classic will feature the St. Louis Blues in their 50th anniversary hosting the Chicago Blackhawks at Busch Stadium on Jan. 2.
The Penguins and Flyers then will conclude a four-game outdoor slate that will open Oct. 23 at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, when the Winnipeg Jets will host the Edmonton Oilers in the Heritage Classic. It will be sponsored by Tim Horton’s, so everyone make sure to get a cafÃ© mocha before taking your seat.
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.Share: