The Hockey Writers will be providing full coverage of the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
Senior correspondents Justin Johnson (@JustinTHW) and Mike Colligan (@MikeColligan) will be covering all the action leading up to and during the game at Citizens Bank Park.
Day 1 of our coverage of the Winter Classic started today. Media availability began at Citizens Bank Park where the construction of the rink continued. It looked like the crews were beginning to put some paint down on the ice. Everything is going according to schedule. It was very cold on the surface due to heavy winds. The ice crew posed for a photo op prior to everyone taking shelter inside for the NHL’s first press conference of the week.
NHL Executive VP of Marketing Brian Jennings was on hand today to discuss the many different facets of the Winter Classic preparation.
One interesting note had to do with the backup plan should there be any issues with the weather at 1 PM on January 2nd. Last season the game was moved to the evening in 2011 to accommodate weather issues, but by the sound of things that may not be the case if weather interfered in 2012. “Not to move the game back but look to move [the game] to the next day, possibly,” Jennings stated. “But I don’t believe that would be necessary based on everything we’re seeing with the weather forecast.”
Jennings also spoke about the design of the Winter Classic jersey. As we all know, there were a lot of fakes out there on the internet leading up to the release of the jerseys. Jennings noted that Flyers chairman Ed Snider was very outspoken regarding not altering the Flyers ‘P’ logo on that part of the jersey. “I really do applaud Mr. Snider,” Jennings said. “He cares so passionately about the Flyers logo, and the brand, and how they look when they take the ice.”
That is why we see the traditional logo but the rest of the jersey takes on the unique look. He compared the collaboration on the jersey design to the Winter Classic Detroit participated in. “Mr. and Mrs. Ilitch care passionately about Detroit and the winged-wheel logo. But they were open enough because the stylized D [logo] was a part of their history and tradition. Each year we’ve worked on it has been a real strong collaboration.”
As today’s press conference wrapped up, it was announced that Philadelphia Phillies president David Montgomery would be available to discuss the Winter Classic and his take on the look of the ballpark tomorrow.
Over the next couple of days we’ll also have comments from NHL Alumni Game participants leading up to that contest on December 31st.
The excitement is definitely in the air in the Delaware Valley as the official final stretch to the NHL Winter Classic is underway.
Here a couple of other photos from Day 1: