Watching the games in St. Louis and Toronto last weekend left me contemplating a Winter Classic in Dallas. First, let me acknowledge, I don’t think Dallas will see a Winter Classic until the Stars make it to the Conference or Cup Finals again. An additional challenge is climate. Some years it feels as though we don’t have winter. I know, it’s a real shame, right?
Still, here are my top three Winter Classic scenarios for Dallas.
Washington Capitals at AT&T Stadium (Home of the Dallas Cowboys)
Think of this one as an extension of the NFL rivalry between the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys. True, the rivalry hasn’t been as intense in recent years but they still play each other twice a season. Instead of Kirk Cousins and Josh Norman coming to town, it would be Alex Ovechkin and the Caps. It wouldn’t be Ovie’s first rodeo, or at least not his first cowboy hat. Surely, the Dallas fans could judge if Ovie is “all hat and no cattle.”
If weather conditions were to impact the game preparation, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman could ask Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones to pass the remote and close the roof.
St. Louis Blues at Globe Life Park (Home of the Texas Rangers)
For just one day maybe the Stars could avenge last season’s playoff loss to the Blues, while also exorcising the demons of David Freese and the St. Louis Cardinals. It’s hard to believe it was more than five years ago that the Cardinals beat the Rangers in Game 7 of the 2011 World Series.
By the time Dallas hosts a Winter Classic, the Rangers might also have a retractable roof. This is not to suggest they should play with the roof closed, but it could come in handy while preparing to host the event.
Fun facts: When Tyler Seguin first joined the Stars in the summer of 2013, Jamie Benn escorted him to a Rangers game; Former Rangers’ pitcher Derek Holland is an avid Stars’ fan, and there is a lot of mutual support and respect between the two organizations.
Nashville Predators at Texas Motor Speedway
Certainly, this would be an ideal road trip for the Smashville faithful. Unfortunately, the timing of a Winter Classic wouldn’t be close enough to make it double-header. Currently Texas Motor Speedway hosts two annual NASCAR events (typically in November and April), but fans could still take in the atmosphere. There wouldn’t be any roof at this venue but the TMS crew is well versed at managing hot weather conditions and rain delays.
There isn’t a strong rivalry between the two teams yet, but it could evolve as both teams are growing. The current Predators roster features two former Stars forwards (James Neal and Mike Ribeiro). Maybe Carrie Underwood could help with the musical entertainment.