The Detroit Red Wings will host the Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium on New Year's Day, and according to multiple reports, that game will just be the start of what's being called a "Stadium Series." TSN reported on its air Tuesday evening that there will be a total of six outdoor games played in the NHL during the 2013-14 season. SIX OF THEM. That is not a typo.
* Jan. 1: Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium, Red Wings vs. Maple Leafs.
* Jan. 25: Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Kings vs. Ducks.
* Jan. 26: Yankee Stadium in New York, Rangers vs. Devils.
* Jan. 29: Yankee Stadium in New York, Rangers vs. Islanders.
* Mar. 1: Soldier Field in Chicago, Penguins vs. Blackhawks.
* Mar. 2: BC Place in Vancouver, Senators vs. Canucks.
The Super Bowl will be held in the New York area in 2014, and both of those games at Yankee Stadium will be in the week leading up to the game. The NHL is surely trying to cash in on that hype and the sports media presence that will exist in the region that week, but there are definite concerns of watering down the outdoor product.
The Rangers have already played in one outdoor game, the 2012 Winter Classic against the Flyers at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park, and these two games will bring their total to three. The Penguins have played in two games -- at Buffalo in 2008 and as host to Washington in 2011 -- and their game in Chicago will bring their total to three as well.
Chicago will become the first NHL city to host two outdoor games, as the 2009 Winter Classic was held between the Red Wings and Blackhawks at Wrigley Field, home of the Cubs.
The Devils, Islanders, Senators, Canucks, Kings and Ducks will all be playing in their first outdoor games.