Rangers to play in 2008-2009 Winter Classic?
ESPN is reporting that the Rangers may host a 2008-2009 regular season game at Yankee Stadium. The rumor is that the opponent would be from the Original Six. My guess is that the league wants the opponent to be the Bruins because of the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry and all the great storylines that would accompany the New York vs. Boston matchup.
I think the outdoor games are a great idea, and an annual winter classic makes a lot of sense for the NHL in terms of television contracts and viewership ratings. In my opinion, the most important move for the NHL in the next few seasons will be to get a new contract with a major network for the playoffs (no more Stanley Cup games on Versus please!!!) and to renew their relationship with ESPN. Strong ratings for regular season games will go a long way towards bolstering the credibility of the NHL as a major sport in the U.S.
About the author: Marc is a Long Island native and a hockey goalie. He has been a Rangers fan for as long as he can remember, although, in the interest of full disclosure, there was a time during the 1993 playoffs when he vaguely remembers cheering for Pierre Turgeon and the Islanders after the Dale Hunter cheap shot. His favorite Ranger of all time is Mike Richter.