MINNEAPOLIS – The 2022 NHL Discover Winter Classic between the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues will not only be played outdoors, but also under lights.
During a press conference at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins in MLB, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the game will begin at 7 p.m. ET on TNT. . This is the first time that the traditional New Year’s meeting has been scheduled for the evening. The 2011 Winter Classic at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals was moved from 1 to 8 p.m. EST due to rain.
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« It will give us the chance to create excitement around the event, » argued Commissioner Bettman. “TNT wanted the game to be broadcast in prime time, and they will be providing full programming well in advance of the game. It will be pleasant and very beautiful under the lights.
« And we know the sun can play tricks on us, so that won’t be a problem. It will be an awesome evening. »
Minnesota and St. Louis were originally scheduled to meet in the 2021 Winter Classic, which was postponed due to COVID-19. But Wild owner Craig Leipold said he understood months in advance that the game would not be played.
« We knew in September that the game probably wouldn’t happen, » Leipold said. But the closer it got, nothing changed, and with the protocols, we knew it would be postponed. We took a step back and were like, ‘Okay. Let’s keep everything we prepared.’
“The sweaters were ready, and everything else too. The bulk of the work was already done. So the transition for this season was easy because we had already done so much work. »
During the 2022 Winter Classic, the Wild will be playing their second outdoor regular season game. It will also be the second time an outdoor game has been played in Minnesota. The 2016 NHL Stadium Series between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Wild was held at TCF Bank Field (now called Huntington Bank Stadium) on the campus of the University of Minnesota.
Wild defender Matt Dumba had scored the opening goal in that 6-1 victory and he hopes to double or even triple that tally in the New Year.
« I remember it was an amazing experience, » Dumba said. To be at TCF with all those fans and the vibe that those gentlemen described earlier. It’s almost like a week-long event. People are buying their sweaters and you can feel the excitement in the city. It had been great to have a good game.
“We will want to get another victory in order to really enjoy the atmosphere and this special day. »
The Blues will be playing their second outdoor game in the regular season. They beat the Blackhawks 4-1 in the 2017 Winter Classic at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The 2022 game will be the 13th Winter Classic, the NHL’s 33rd outdoor regular season game and the first of three outdoor games scheduled for this season. These games will all be broadcast on TVA Sports, Sportsnet and TNT.