Boston and Montreal Need To Play the Next Winter Classic
Imagine the atmosphere. Fenway Park, in the 30-degree cold, filled with roaring Bruins fans, combining with the wind to make the park rumble like the old Boston Garden. The fans pack together, bundle up and get ready to witness something that has never been seen in the 97-year history of the park.
What better way for hockey fans to spend their New Year than to watch hockey’s greatest rivalry unfold in sports’ most historic landmark on the most unique day of the NHL season?
I understand I may carry a little bias with this piece, because I am a born-and-bred Boston sports fans. My roots lie in going to the old Garden to watch Ray Bourque and Cam Neely play. Now that the Bruins have rebuilt themselves as a powerhouse once again, I am yearning to see the likes of Zdeno Chara, Marc Savard, Tim Thomas and the rest glide along the ice within a structure built for America’s pastime. A game against Montreal, who they would almost certainly play in the Winter Classic, would undoubtedly be entertaining enough for even fans of neither team.
The rivalry between Boston and Montreal carries as much history and tradition as any in all sports, let alone hockey. And Fenway Park, which will soon celebrate its 100th anniversary, carries as much history as any stadium not to host the Classic.
Call me a neurotic Boston fan, but it feels almost inevitable that, even amongst the reports that Fenway is the favorite to host next year’s classic, Hank Steinbrenner will attempt to swoop in and strike a deal at the eleventh hour to host the 2010 Classic at the new Yankee stadium.
Now, despite everything I’ve heard about the new Yankee stadium being a palace, they just built the freakin’ thing! It has at least a whole century to host multiple Winter Classics. And a Rangers – Islanders game wouldn’t have nearly the appeal or entertainment value of a Montreal – Boston clash. Now that Wrigley Field has played host to the Classic, the NHL needs to continue its history tour by stopping at Fenway next. It makes too much sense not to do it.
To make Boston and Montreal fans’ mouths water a little more, here are some highlights from last year’s Winter Classic between the Red Wings and Blackhawks:
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