Outdoor games in hockey aren’t something new but an addition to that has now been made in the form of the NHL Stadium Series starting 2014. The series will feature four games being played in different venues and they will all be a part of the regular season. Points will be at stake and that adds that extra little bit of spice to the proceedings. The games will be sandwiched between the Maple Leafs versus Red Wings Winter Classic and Canucks versus Senators Heritage Classic. It is a brand new series of game and it has already generated a lot of excitement among hockey fans. Get ready for another blockbuster set of hockey games as they head towards you full steam ahead.
The new NHL Stadium Series will feature seven of the biggest names in the league going at each other. A great deal of hype has been created for these epic encounters and rightly so. Outdoor games have become a very important part of the whole NHL experience. Hockey fans have attended these games in big numbers since they first became a part of the landscape. Keeping that trend in mind, NHL Stadium Series tickets are expected to be sold in a heartbeat too. It might be a new project but it is one that will be relished by teams and hockey fans all around the league.
NHL and Outdoor Games
There are three brand names for NHL’s outdoor games and the NHL Stadium Series is now one of them. These outdoor games trace their roots back to 1954 when the Red Wings took on the Marquette Pirates. The first ever hockey game featuring two NHL teams was played on 27th September 1991 between the Rangers and the Kings. The latter won the game by a 5-2 score.
Regular season games made their debut outdoors on 22nd November 2003 when Canadiens played the Oilers in the Heritage Classic. The game drew a positive response. The Winter Classic then joined the party on the first day of 2008. The trend has continued ever since and the fans now look forward to being a part of these games. The number of people that have watched the games have continued to grow and the arrival of the NHL Stadium Series this year will increase it even further.
The NHL Stadium Series
On the Labor Day of 2013, the National Hockey League announced the plans for a new set of outdoor games to be played during the regular season. The games were branded as the NHL Stadium Series. Four games are scheduled to be played in the inaugural run which will give fans of teams like Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks to see their favorite players in action live.
The Start of the NHL Stadium Series
The first game of the inaugural NHL Stadium Series was played at the Dodgers Stadium between the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings on 25th January. The Ducks came out on top in that encounter by a score of 3-0. The next game saw the New York Rangers play the New Jersey Devils at the Yankee Stadium the next day. The team from New York won 7-3. In the third game which was played on 29th January at the Yankee Stadium, the Rangers beat their cross town rivals, the New York Islanders 2-1. The last game features the reigning Stanley Cup winners, the Chicago Blackhawks going up against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Soldier Field. The crowds that have turned up to catch the first ever NHL Stadium Series games have been impressive. The idea has paid off for the NHL which means the series is here to stay for a long time to come.