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Report: Caps-Pens to play at Heinz Field

The Capitals and Penguins are "likely" to be opponents in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1 at Heinz Field, according to a report in today's Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

A few details still have to be addressed, but things are falling into place for the Penguins and Washington to play the NHL's 2011 Winter Classic at Heinz Field Jan. 1.
There is no word on when an official announcement will come. The NHL traditionally does not make one until mid-summer, around the time the coming season's schedule is released.
Neither the Penguins nor the league will confirm that the game will played here.

If you remember, I reported back in January that the Caps were leading candidates to be in next year's Winter Classic and that informal discussions were underway to have the game hosted at a Pittsburgh venue, among other places.

The Capitals could alternately be matched up against Sidney Crosby and the rival Penguins at a Pittsburgh venue, another possibility being informally discussed, the source said. Although the Penguins played the Buffalo Sabres in the inaugural Winter Classic, the seven-game Capitals-Penguins semifinal playoff series last May became an instant classic among hockey fans.

I was told moments ago by a high ranking NHL official that nothing has been finalized. The official also would not confirm or deny today's report. So stay tuned.

In the meantime, what are your thoughts?

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 28, 2010; 12:38 PM ET
 
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Comments

Nats Park or RFK Stadium, gotta have the Caps host this one after being shunned for last year's tilt. Definitely want it to be the Pens, but on our turf!!!

Posted by: BBDwrestling | March 28, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

well who do they want instead, tampa or atlanta?? LOL

Posted by: joek443 | March 28, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, the effing Pens again? Bettman is such a homer for Cindy. Way to "grow" the league, picking the same team over and over for all the good stuff. I pretty much wouldn't care where the Caps played, as long as it _wasn't_ against the Pens.

Posted by: farmgirl19C | March 28, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

The NHL loves Cindy. Easily could have had Rangers play, I'm not even a fan of the Rags but plenty other venues if they're an option. Also, has anyone from the NHL been to Pittsburgh? It sucks, worst city in the Eastern conference.

Posted by: rsl13 | March 28, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

no matter who the Caps end up playing against, it will proably have to be a road game for them... philly would probably be too south for them to insure an ideal weather condition

Posted by: joek443 | March 28, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I thought the issue with using NFL stadiums was the long lead time needed to set up the rink, which presumably would not align with the Steelers' home schedule, even if they were to have back-to-back road games.

Posted by: grahamj | March 28, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

they probably mean the baseball park up there... the steelers could easily be playing

Posted by: joek443 | March 28, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe this report at all:

The Steelers almost always are still playing on January 1st so it would not be on Heinz Field...(it takes a few days to set up the ice and get conditions right) might be in PNC Park?

Nonetheless I am pretty sure its time for a NY City team to be in the thing so lets think Yankee Stadium or something.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | March 28, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Unless the Steelers last two games are road games. That could very well be possible and the NFL does announces its schedule in the coming weeks (I think).

Posted by: sgm3 | March 28, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

@yesisaiditfirst

Yankee Stadium has a new college bowl game in late December so that is not a possibility anymore.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 28, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Pittsburgh would like to host the game, so would 6 other cities. A good lobbiest always leaks out some information to build momentum - still I doubt the Steelers will go to the NFL and ask to play two road games to end the regular season....thats nonsense, plus in 2010 the NFL will schedule divisional games for the last week of the schedule....doubt they want a game against Ravens potentially on the road because they asked for it.

This report is well positioned red herring - involving Heinz Field....

watch for Citi Field and the Rangers or the new Target Field and the Wild (the Caps will be a prime candidate to play in one)

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | March 28, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Now way they play at Heinz field. NFL playoffs start Jan 8-9. Even if the steelers were on the road the last two weeks of the regular season, no way that field is ready for football the next week. Pnc park maybe, but not Heinz. NFL would not allow it.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 28, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

@dcsportsfan1

You don't think they can make the field ready in 8 or 9 days? There have been concerts held at stadiums with grass fields and the field has been installed for the following week.

The playing field isn't ideal but it is playable.

Also, remember the Steelers do not own the stadium. So the while the Steelers have great leverage on it they are not the final deciders. Many teams each year play their final two games on the road, it is more than plausible to think the Steelers would play their last two games on the road.

That isn't so overwhelming to be considered nonsense. Hell, it was done with the Bills stadium before.

It doesn't mean it won't be done but it can be done.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 28, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

NHL keeps on sucking up to sid and the pittsburg penguins. If this is true, there is no way I would spend my new years in that sh*t hole to watch the CAPS. It's no end to this, they get the calls on the ice and cooke knocks out Savard with a elbow to the head - no suspension. Unbeliveable.

You place the Winter Classic in DC, Philly, NYC ..... I'm there. CAPS fans don't waste your money, let the yinsers enjoy the game in thier backyard.

Posted by: noreaster1 | March 28, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

My name is Mr. Subliminal. Helo Capital fans (uneducated). It is wonderful (like hell) to see you all (bandwagoners) questioning the presence of the Penguins (Stanley Cup Champs-3 times)hosting your Capitals (Crapitals) for the Winter Classic (this will be our 2nd).
My suggestion to you is once your fans stop throwing hats on the ice when your star (punk) scores a shootout goal to celebrate (stupidly) a hat trick (3 regulations goals), you will get some credit for having hockey intelligence (brains).

See you in the playoffs (games played after regular season)

Mr. Subliminal

Posted by: ucancallmeray | March 29, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I guess an "educated" fan would know how to spell HELLO. Or were you adding some 'subliminal' message about Caps fans? Obviously you are too well edumicated for us dumb rednecks south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Thanks for dropping by Ray.

Posted by: marksman37 | March 29, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

The Winter Classic is a joke to begin with. But now the NHL is again kissing Crosby's behind. I mean, at some point, you would think that they would get embarrassed as to how blatant it has become.

Posted by: dcsportsdude | March 29, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I have no problem with the Caps playing the Pens in the Winter Classic, regardless of location. Why wouldn't the league highlight the league's best rivalry?

To be honest I'm a little bit surprised that there aren't more people excited by the opportunity. Yeah Milbury will bag on OV. Sure, It would be played in Pittsburgh. So what? At least the Caps are at the point now, that the league is even willing to put them in that game. Maybe I'm getting old, but I remember a less prolific time, when we were happy if the caps even made the playoffs and even then the caps fans were outnumbered by pens/flyers fans 2 to 1.

@noreaster1: Why would you boycott the game and suggest others do the same? Yeah Pittsburgh sucks, but I think a sea of red in Pitsburgh would speak volumes to a national TV audience. It would say that Caps fans are not bandwagoners. That they know and care about hockey. That they are MORE passionate than Pens fans.

Posted by: Beggarsandthieves | March 29, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Caps-Pens at FedExField

Posted by: gpoi | March 29, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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