Dan Hamhuis smiles uneasily at the thought of an outdoor game in Vancouver in March.
When the Vancouver Canucks debuted their Vancouver Millionaires jerseys back in March, we wondered aloud if the original plan had been to debut the historic duds versus the Ottawa Senators, the team the Millionaires defeated back in 1915 for Vancouver’s lone Stanley Cup.
No, we were told when asked (proving the worst thing you can ever do is ask), that had never been the plan.
That said, if the Canucks did want to sport their heritage jerseys versus the Senators, it would appear that next March will yield a golden opportunity. According to multiple reports, the league is planning to go from one outdoor game to six in 2013-14, with the sixth and final game in what’s being called a stadium series happening just next door to Rogers Arena in BC Place. Vancouver will obviously be one of the two teams. The other club: the Ottawa Senators, who have been sore about the way we stole Cyclone Taylor and then their Stanley Cup for 99 long years.
Here’s the full schedule of outdoor games, courtesy of TSN, where Darren Dreger was the first to report the NHL’s plan to
make more money and ruin the Winter Classic expand:
We’ll forgive the fact that calling a game at BC Place with the roof open an “outdoor game” is akin to opening the door to the back patio off the kitchen and claiming you’re doing some “outdoor cooking”.
Yes, we get outdoor game number six, because if The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock has taught us anything, it’s that the sixth instalment in a franchise is always the one people remember.
I’m torn on this. For one thing, if you thought the weather in February wasn’t exactly conducive to the Winter Olympics, the weather in March isn’t exactly conducive to an outdoor game, either.
Additionally, as I said this morning at Puck Daddy, I absolutely hate the idea of six outdoor games next year, because it feels like a cynical cash grab cranked up to eleven (or in this case, six):
The Winter Classic has always been a cash grab, a chance to snuggle with the sponsors, to sell 10 times as many tickets as usual, and to trot out some special event merchandise that will dance off the shelves like ‘N Sync dolls come to life. This much we know. But it was still possible to enjoy all the good things about the event despite this because, in the back of our minds, we also knew that it was possible for the league to make the event even more blatantly about separating fans from their money.
Say, for instance, if they did it six times a year.
[...] It’s as though, instead of hiding five golden tickets in his chocolate bars, Willy Wonka hid 5000. It’s not quite the same movie then (especially since 4,999 kids disappearing in Wonka’s factory makes the movie very, very different). It’s not nearly as big a deal when Charlie Bucket finds one, for one thing, plus it feels a lot less like a momentous occasion and a lot more like a cheap ploy to sell box after box of candy bars.
So you can see why Vancouver being the final stop on the NHL’s Winter Classic-ruining “Racks On Racks” tour doesn’t sit well with me.
But on the other hand, there’s no doubt that this is going to be a fun event, especially since this game, with its festival atmosphere and tripled capacity, should be a welcome change of pace from the quiet experience of watching a game in Rogers
Library Arena. As much as I hate the idea of this series, I’m sure the experience of it will be something to remember.