A Winter Classic in Minnesota, with the Wild up against some other team -- the Artists Formerly Known As The Minnesota North Stars, perhaps -- makes so much sense. It's the self-proclaimed State of Hockey, literally everybody there has some sort of interaction with the sport at some level and it's really, really cold in the winter.
It's also Minnesota, which isn't exactly the sports capital of the world, and it's also the Wild, a team that doesn't exactly excite the rest of America when it comes to watching nationally televised hockey.
For these reasons, Gary Bettman would love a Winter Classic to be held in Minnesota. It's also apparent that he kind of hates the idea.
In an interview with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on Thursday, here's what the Commissioner had to say about the possibility of a Winter Classic in Minnesota.
Bettman talked about how Wild owner Craig Leipold continues to actively covet bringing a Winter Classic to Minnesota. Bettman said, "Without giving you a timetable, at some point it would be crazy if we didn't have a Winter Classic here."
They'd be crazy not to do it! Ah, but he continues.
Bettman admitted, "An important element of doing the Winter Classic is obviously the national TV ratings, so we have to be comfortable that whatever matchup we're going to do will do a good number."
We don't need to really cite ratings for you to understand the league's difficulty in marketing a game featuring the Wild for a national television audience. They are not a sexy team. They are a boring team. I would venture to think that our friends at Hockey Wilderness would admit the same thing.
Outside of the "it's cold and they like hockey there!" thing, there's nothing that's exciting about the Minnesota Wild. They're a bad team, too, and have basically always been a pretty mediocre bunch. Until that changes, this isn't even going to come close to happening.