...the Winter Classic outdoor game between Buffalo and Pittsburgh on New Year's Day could become a marquee event on the NHL calendar.Yeah, you bet there will be.
Those that promote the NHL have never been so busy, producing daily commentary on NHL.com, updates on rink flooding and painted lines and time-lapse videos on arena construction.
When 73,000 seats are sold out in a manner of hours, filling a football stadium for a hockey game, you know they are on to something. When NBC decides to broadcast the game – Bowl games be damned – you have the buzz. [...]
No less a voice than that of Penguins star Sidney Crosby believes one of these events a year would be good for the game.
"I think one (game) is good. I mean, it doesn't always have to be the same teams, but I think one's good," Crosby said Friday. "It's something for everyone to look forward to. I think it's going to bring attention."
The Red Wings are hoping to host one of these at Ford Field, perhaps with the Maple Leafs as the opponent. Already there is talk about Penn State hosting a Flyers-Penguins game.
Costas believes the NHL can build on events like this because it has the ability to attract casual fans and channel surfers.
"It will feel special because it is special," said Costas. "It's unique. Sidney Crosby and Ryan Miller are extremely well known. You have players that people want to see and in an atmosphere that's intriguing, plus those 70,000 people in Buffalo on New Year's Day.
"There is certainly going to be a great atmosphere."
I also think one or two (one in the US, one in Ca.) of these games a year would be great for the sport.