Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rose Bowl for the Classic? No thanks.

After the smashing success of the 2009 Winter Classic at Wrigley Field, the NHL has planned to go ahead with the event in 2010. The destination is unknown at this point, but some sources have reported that the Rose Bowl could be a possible destination.

No, thank you. To keep this event successful it must be played in cold climates in traditional hockey markets, preferably with American teams, and preferably at recognizable venues that have historical significance. Playing the game in Vegas, on the beach, or in a big dome defeats the purpose of the event. It should definitely be a once a year event, also, but it should be in a place where there's at least a chance of a snowfall. How great was the 2008 Classic just because of the snow and picture-esque setting? It was an instant classic, even before the dramatic shootout.

My top 5 choices:

1. Fenway Park (Bruins vs. Rangers)
The Rangers need to be involved in one of these games. Their huge fan base will drive up television ratings, something obviously good for the sport, and Fenway Park would create the perfect backdrop.

2. Yankee Stadium (Rangers vs. Bruins)
Same match-up, different setting.

3. Spartan Stadium (Red Wings vs. Avalanche)
Perhaps the best hockey rivalry in the 1990s, the two teams could meet in the enormous Spartan Stadium which would undoubtedly be filled to capacity. Two teams with strong fan bases would get good TV ratings and it could help rekindle a great rivalry.

4. Beaver Stadium (Penguins vs. Flyers)
A rematch of the 2008 Eastern Conference Finals would undoubtedly captivate the state of Pennsylvania and would create a good enough match-up to entice other viewers from around the country.

5. Nationals Park (Capitals vs. Penguins)
Crosby vs. Ovechkin? Absolutely.

Anyways, enough about the Classic. Other stuff is happening around the NHL that is much more relevant at this time. There's a lot of news coming from the Southeast Division (no, it's not disbanding), including a couple of team captains.

The Lightning have said they would listen to offers to their captain Vincent Lecavalier. Should they do such a thing? Well, if the organization is truly committed to rebuilding then they absolutely should be inquiring. Getting a bunch of picks and prospects for Vinny, despite his superstar status, would be the best move. If they are going to try to build the team through the off-season like last year, then keep Vinny, because either way they're hopeless. I vote on trading Vinny for a handful of youth and taking a step backwards so that they can take two steps forward.

I use the same reasoning when saying the Atlanta Thrashers should deal Ilya Kovalchuk before this trade deadline. The Thrashers named Kovalchuk captain just a few days ago, further solidifying Don Waddell's statements that they do not want to trade Kovalchuk. That being said, they should do it anyways. He has so much value and is not a player that is going to lead you to a Stanley Cup, but more of an enormous component. He's a key cog but can't take a team by himself. I like the idea of his captaincy, but like the idea of trading him better. The Thrashers crammed a whopping 14,163 people into their last home game, a loss to Ottawa. People aren't coming out to the games anyways...might as well deal your star and try to copy the Chicago Blackhawks.

Speaking of the Hawks, they appear to be hitting their stride again after back-to-back losses last weekend. In other Western Conference tidbits, the San Jose Sharks are 20-0-2 at home this season. Those are unbelievable numbers, and if you're a season ticket holder in San Jose you picked a good season for it. This team may be for real this time and there's really no glaring weakness.

Otherwise, there's really no other good bitings, bitch-slappings, or any other cool stuff to write about. Coming up we'll analyze the top teams in each conference and make some early playoff predictions.


1 comment:

  1. the snow and picture-esque setting? It was an instant classic,
    Thanks For Sharing with me

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