With the outdoor games likely set for the 2017-18 season, It’s highly unlikely the Red Wings will play in one this season. Nothing wrong with that at all, as Detroit can focus on the opening of the brand new Little Cesars Arena. That won’t stop us from thinking about the season after that. Yes the 2018-19 season. There are some interesting places and opponents that come to mind for a possible Winter Classic/Stadium Series games that season. We get it, some of you hate the idea of outdoor games during the regular season, but you’ll actually enjoy some of these ideas even though you hate the thought of outdoor games.
Tampa Bay Lighting @ Comerica Park
The Red Wings/Lightning meetings have been pretty intense as of late, you can see that the two sides really don’t like each other at all. Why not bring that game outside where ANYBODY can come to watch the game. As far as the location, while you could host the game in Tampa, I believe Detroit would be the best and logical decision. The Red Wings have only hosted one outdoor game which was the 2014 Winter Classic at the big house. Comerica Park would be an ideal place to host the game given Red Wings and Lightning isn’t big enough to really fill up the big house like that quite yet. It’ll also make sense given everything is within a walk from each other.
Montreal Canadiens @ Molson Stadium
If you’re looking to host a Winter Classic in 2019 then look no further than the Canadiens and Red Wings. Two original six teams, with a lot of history facing off outdoors. The Red Wings and Canadiens usually have some pretty close battles when they face off, which could make for excellent game. Montreal has played in 4 outdoor games, but never hosted an outdoor game. I believe it’s time and doing it against Detroit would be perfect….Assuming Quebec City doesn’t get a team first.
Anaheim Ducks @ Anaheim Stadium
NHL has odd ways of trying to spread the game. The state of California has seen a huge success in its teams as of late. The 2014 (Los Angeles) and 2015 (Santa Clarita) Stadium Series games has tons of success from many stand points. No people the ice didn’t melt! Anyways the only team in the state that hasn’t hosted an outdoor game has been the Anaheim Ducks. That area of Anaheim is a perfect location to host a game given the amount of things that surround the area (Disneyland and The Block at Orange to name the few). Some challenges stand in the way of that happening from obstructive views in the Stadium to the Angels themselves. With the Ducks success the last few years, maybe it’s time for them to host an outdoor game. Now how does this tie into the Red Wings? Here’s how, When you look at the California hockey landscape there are only two teams that has a history with the Red Wings, The San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks. In the Ducks history, the Red Wings has been that road block that the franchise could never get past and they’ve had some pretty intense battles through those meetings too. If the Ducks were to finally host an outdoor game, I can’t think of any team better than the Detroit Red Wings (Before you say anything Kings fans, you got the Ducks at Dodger Stadium). With all the history between the two, I think it would be a pretty good match up. Again I’m from Southern Cal so I could be a little bias here.
Columbus Blue Jackets @ Ohio Stadium
This makes too much sense. The Columbus Blue Jackets hosting an outdoor game on the campus of Ohio State would be an ideal situation. The Blue Jackets is starting to see a rise in their popularity in Columbus, however I have some doubts that they have enough to really fill up Ohio Stadium like that (Stadium capacity is 0ver 104,000). In comes the Detroit Red Wings whose fan base travels like no other. Many Wings fans flock to Columbus to see the team play whenever they meet there, so an outdoor game would be no different at all. Should it happen? Yes, if the Jackets continue to build of the success they’ve had this past season. The Red Wings would be one of the few teams that would have to be in this game.
What do you think? What venues or opponents would you like to see the Wings face off against in their next outdoor game?