Monday, 1 January 2018

Not Watching

Today's a big day on the new calendar, I'd say. Welcome to 2018, readers, as we embark on another calendar year of hockey fun, craziness, and excitement. And all of that comes to a head today as we get ready for the 2018 Winter Classic that I... will not be watching. Sorry, NHL, but I simply don't about the teams playing, the venue, the apparent storylines that I can't seem to find, or any outdoor games. It's over. This game was once a marvel. Instead, it's now just another game.

The New York Rangers and the Buffalo Sabres, two teams with zero history to recall between them, will meet at Citi Field in New York City in front of what sounds like a sell-out crowd as per social media. Of course, that means the NHL will reap a nice windfall, and we'll be forced to endure another one of these games in 2020 provided there is no lockout which is almost assuredly going to happen.

The only problem is that this is the third televised outdoor game this season already if you consider the Heritage Classic in Ottawa and the recent World Junior Championship spectacle between Canada and the US. The Winter Classic should be the one game that never gets superseded by other outdoor games, but it's barely on the radar. Hardly any outlets are talking about it, and that's a problem if I'm the NHL.

The jerseys designed and worn for the event are nice, but they're certainly not overly memorable. If Buffalo really wanted, they could incorporate the white uniform into their uniform set as an alternate next season, but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. The little "NY" at the bottom of the logo is a nice touch, but it's completely unnecessary as far as these jerseys go since we know Buffalo is in New York, we know this game is being played in New York, and we know the Sabres are playing a New York team. The same goes for the patch on the left shoulder for the Rangers - it's just superfluous.

Congratulations whoever wins this game, but I'm not watching it. I appreciate the efforts that the players and coaches will put forth, but there is nothing to draw me to this game. To the fans who attend Citi Field today to experience a Winter Classic in-person, I commend you as well. It's an experience, but it's not really a visual experience.

Everyone is doing outdoor games now, so it's not special anymore. It's time for something new, NHL. Be a leader and figure out something to bring back the wow factor on New Year's Day.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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