Following a report yesterday that the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers could host a 2017 Stadium Series game, Jeremy Rutherford reports in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the St. Louis Blues are a frontrunner for the 2017 Winter Classic.
According to the report, the NHL is “strongly considering” giving the game to the Blues.Though, as was noted in yesterday’s report, the Toronto Maple Leafs are still in contention for the Winter Classic with the franchise celebrating its centenary next season.
The game would pit the Blues against the Chicago Blackhawks, who would be getting an outdoor game for the fourth season in a row and the fifth time overall. Winning will keep you in the spotlight like that, with 13 teams still having never played an outdoor game (including those on the 2016 schedule as teams having “played” an outdoor game).
The game would take place on January 2 at Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals. The game would be a part of festivities celebrating the Blues 50th anniversary.
Rutherford notes that the game could become a Stadium Series game, but “the Cardinals are expecting to host a hockey game at Busch on Jan. 2.”
One of the things that may drive the Winter Classic to St. Louis and a separate outdoor game to Toronto is that Toronto will be a hub for a lot of major events next year, including the World Cup, the CFL’s Grey Cup and the 2017 World Junior Championship, which would be taking place at the same time as the Winter Classic.