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SBD/Issue 76/Events & AttractionsPrint All
Sellout Crowd Of 38,112 Watches The
Bruins Beat The Flyers In Overtime Friday
INSTANT CLASSIC: In N.Y., Jeff Klein noted the atmosphere at Fenway Park "was terrific and so was the game," as a "party mood prevailed." Bruins RW Mark Recchi said of Thursday's practice, "Walking out when it was snowing was an amazing feeling" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/2). Flyers RW Ian Laperriere said, "I've never played in front of that many people in my life, and it was great to see it. It was unbelievable when they were chanting the names of the teams back and forth. It's a great experience that I'll cherish for the rest of my life" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 1/2). Bruins D Zdeno Chara: "It was incredible. It's hard to describe it. It was one of those things you'll experience just once in a lifetime" (BOSTON HERALD, 1/2). Bruins LW Shawn Thornton: "The warm-up was pretty surreal, seeing everybody there." He added of the event, "I hope it builds the brand, obviously. The NHL has done a great job marketing it, (putting it) on NBC, and hopefully a lot of people tuned in" (ESPNBOSTON.com, 1/1). YAHOO SPORTS' Ross McKeon wrote under the header, "Winter Classic Keeps Getting Better." Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said, "It was just an unbelievable experience to be a part of it -- for our organization, for our players, for the fans. It was a great day for hockey" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/1). Boston Mayor Thomas Menino: "It's been a very special week in the city. This game brought a lot of energy with it. ... I told the commissioner, I want this back next year. I love this" (BOSTON HERALD, 1/2). YAHOO SPORTS' Ryan Lambert presents a photo essay of the Winter Classic (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/2).
(l to r) Comcast-Spectacor's Peter Luukko,
NHL's Jamey Horan and John Collins, and
Flyers' Paul Holmgren At Winter Classic
I AM LEGEND: In Boston, Eric Moskowitz reported Saturday's AT&T Legends Classic hockey game at Fenway Park drew 33,000 fans, a "record crowd for a charity sporting event in Boston." Actor Kiefer Sutherland, who played in the game, said, "How cool was it that they all showed up? I mean, I don't know how many people can actually say they skated in front of 33,000 people." The event, which also included Bruins Exec VP Charlie Jacobs and Red Sox Chair Tom Werner, "raised $200,000 apiece for the Bruins and Red Sox charitable foundations and a third charity, Hockey Fights Cancer" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/3). Bruins VP and Hockey HOFer Cam Neely said of playing in Saturday's game, "I could not believe the support that these people showed" (BOSTON HERALD, 1/3).
Penguins-Capitals Could Be The Featured
Attraction In Next Year's Winter Classic
NEXT IN LINE? In DC, Tarik El-Bashir cited an NHL source as confirming that the Capitals are the "strongest candidate to participate in the fourth annual game next New Year's Day." The source said, "The league will be looking to work around the Capitals to get them into this game." El-Bashir noted those talks "will begin in earnest after the Olympic break in February." Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau: "I think we should be in it because we have the most exciting player in the world and we want to expose him to as many TV sets as possible" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/1). NBC Sports Coordinating Producer Sam Flood said, "There is no doubt that Washington is worthy of playing in the Winter Classic, and it is our goal to fit them in soon. Everyone knows about Alex Ovechkin and the rest of the Caps, so it is in our best interest to put them on in the Winter Classic" (WASHINGTON EXAMINER, 12/31).
Mets "Ready, Willing And Able" To
Host Winter Classic At Citi Field
WANT TO BE A PART OF IT: In New Jersey, Andrew Gross reported NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman this weekend indicated that discussions on the host cities for '11 "would not begin immediately." Bettman: "We want a community where the game can have an impact, first and foremost, in addition to a good market that we think will support the game. We need the right facility. And, obviously, we have to be in a place where we think the weather will be OK." Rangers GM Glen Sather said the club would "be happy to be a part" of the Winter Classic if the NHL was interested. New Jersey state officials are "pushing for a Devils-Rangers game at the new Meadowlands football stadium," but while the NHL "very much wants the Rangers involved, the league does not want to present such a regionalized matchup." Meanwhile, Bettman said of playing in football stadiums, "The football schedule is a little more complicated. We get more time to set up and tear down and use more events when the team, like a baseball team, isn't playing for weeks. Being in a football stadium, even if we schedule around it, we have got to worry about playoff games and what's barely a two-week window" (Bergen RECORD, 1/2). Former NHLPA Dir of Player Affairs Glenn Healy said the league needs to get the Winter Classic "in one place, and it's New York City." NBC has to "put pressure on New York to get this thing to make it happen." But the CBC's Mike Milbury said, "And so it begins, the rape of the Winter Classic. They've got something that's beautiful, pristine, pure, and now we're going to sellout to every network" ("HNIC," CBC, 1/2).
THE BEST OF WHAT'S AROUND: ESPN.com's Scott Burnside wrote each of the three Winter Classics has "managed the impressive feat of being better than the previous one," and the NHL's "challenge is in making sure future events follow this pattern." The league for the first time "opened up a bid process to come up with a host for the 2011 game," a process that will "force teams to think outside the box in suggesting venues and activities that will 'wow' the league." That bid process will "close around the end of the Olympic break in February." Burnside wrote the Winter Classic "has to be about more than just having good fans," and by its "very nature has to have classic elements." Denver should be considered to host "if the NHL is looking to keep some sort of balance between the two conferences," while Minnesota is a "natural given the state's long love affair with the game." Burnside: "In the end, the challenge of maintaining the Classic's magical spark isn't about being fair, it's about making the right choices. Given the standards set the past three years, continuing to make those right choices will become more and more difficult" (ESPN.com, 1/1). Meanwhile, the CBC's Elliotte Friedman reported Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones is "inquiring as to whether he could host the game in the future" at the new retractable-roof Cowboys Stadium. Friedman: "It would be an enormous financial windfall, but of course it wouldn't be a true Winter Classic. Let's see if they investigate it" ("HNIC," CBC, 1/2).
Writer Says NHL Needs To Connect
Fans More Intimately To On-Ice Product