NHL Fast Forward: Vancouver vs Seattle in Winter Classic?
After another successful outing for the NHL Winter Classic (bravo Henrik Lundqvist by the way) talk of future out door events has shared been various sources this week.
Whilst Detroit getting the 2013 Winter Classic seems to be a lock, beyond that little seems to have been planned besides the promise of an event in Washington DC (in a currently unspecified year) and an apparent desire by the Rangers to take the event to Yankee Stadium.
There are plenty of potential players in the game to get a Winter Classic – nothing rules out a return to a previous host, whilst cities such as Toronto would leap at the opportunity to host one of the NHL’s premier events.
Of course further venues could be created via relocation. Winnipeg already has its Jets back; but Quebec City and Hamilton have also been linked with NHL franchises (normally the Coyotes) and would surely welcome such an event also?
Something of a wild card for both relocation and the Winter Classic would be Seattle.
The north western home of Starbucks has been mentioned in relocation talk for the faltering Coyotes, albeit briefly (and there is a good piece on Puck Daddy about it here), but is the idea so far fetched?
Moving the Coyotes to Seattle (assuming a suitable home rink could be found/built) would be easy under the NHL’s realignment plans given that Phoenix is already slated to drop in to the Western Conference with Vancouver, San Jose, LA and alike.
And the British Columbia outfit offer an almost instant geographical rival to any new Seattle franchise.
So why not capitalise on such a rivalry with a battle outside of the normal confines of a rink? Such a unique event would surely attract fans from either side of the border to cross over and make the trip to cheer on their team against a bitter rival? Add on top of that the normal migration of neutral fans eager to be a part of such an event and the media/sponsorship interest that goes with it.
Whilst Seattle may be a little way down the list of possible homes for an NHL team, it’s by no means out of the question and with the Canucks practically on the doorstep would surely make a perfect participant for a future Winter Classic against their BC neighbours?