Several reports Tuesday night indicated the New York Islanders would finally be part of an outdoor NHL game.
Of course, if the reports are correct, it would be one of about six the league would hold in the 2013-14 season -- and the Jan. 29 match with the Rangers would come three days after the Rangers first played the Devils outdoors.
Rumors have circulated for several weeks that the league was planning multiple outdoor games -- not just the annual Winter Classic, and not just a Winter Classic and a Canada-based Heritage Classic, but rather all sorts of games.
Though TSN's Daren Dreger stressed things were yet to be confirmed and "details yet to work out," the proposed "Stadium Series" lineup aired via TSN and NHL Network looks like this:
- Jan. 1: Leafs vs. Red Wings (previously announced Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium)
- Jan. 25: Ducks vs. Kings at Dodger Stadium
- Jan. 26: Rangers vs. Devils at Yankee Stadium
- Jan. 29: Islanders vs. Rangers at Yankee Stadium
- March 1: Penguins vs. Blackhawks at Soldier Field
- March 2: Senators vs. Canucks at BC Place
UPDATE: Arthur Staple of Newsday says his sources confirm the Isles Jan. 29 date.
Wow, that's a lot. The Soldier Field date in particular seems gratuitous. But these are moneymakers, there is a big appetite among league owners for them, and they do well with sponsors. As Dreger notes, the desire to maintain excitement before and after a potential Olympic break could also be a factor.
So, dear reader: Yea? Nay? Don't care?