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Source: Caps to play in Winter Classic

After months of speculation, the worst kept secret in the NHL is out: The Penguins will host the Capitals in next year's Winter Classic, the league's outdoor showcase, according to a source close to the Winter Classic negotiations.

It's expected that Commissioner Gary Bettman will make a formal announcement in Chicago tomorrow during his state of the league address.

The game will be played at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on New Year's Day.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 27, 2010; 5:57 PM ET
 
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Comments

And the NHL once again shows it has no interest in marketing anyone but Crosby and Ovechkin.

Posted by: icehammer97 | May 27, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Here's hoping it will be cold enough to play in the Pitts..

Posted by: alutz08 | May 27, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Game on - looking forward to it. :) Let's Go Caps.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | May 27, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Yawn..........What a joke that thing is. And having Pissburgh in it again before so many other teams get a chance is even more of a joke.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 27, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

What a joke!

Why is this game in Pittsburgh?

Why is this game scheduled at a stadium in which the Steelers will still be playing games around January 1st -- thus almost certainly causing scheduling problems due to the 10-day advanced access the NHL needs to setup the ice surface?

Why are the Penguins getting a second appearance in this "Classic" before 25 other teams have even been considered -- including many who could be equally good draws?

Gary Bettman can keep his "Penguins Classic"! I hope there are some good movies playing. I don't plan to watch.

Kevin Olson
Manassas, VA

Posted by: noslok | May 27, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

I mean come on NHL! I guess the only two players in the league is Crosby and Ovechkin? You might as well just have those two guys play one-on-one for 3 period.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | May 27, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

1) I'm happy that the caps get to play in this game as they earned it with their presidents trophy season.
2) it's a disgrace to original 6 teams like Montreal and Toronto that they aren't invited to play in a game like this
3) This is not about the game, it's about $

sad!

Posted by: FrankM73 | May 27, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

BOOOO!
Don't wanna see Pittsburgh no mo.

Posted by: joepar703 | May 27, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

What FrankM73 said.

If it supposed to be a throwback tribute, the game should ALWAYS have an Original 6 team playing.

Posted by: gbooksdc | May 27, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

BOOOOOOO ..... if the game is not in DC the Caps shouldnt be playing in it.i can wait until 2012...2011 should be 2 western con. teams like Colorado and St.Louis in Denver.. and who really want to see the Caps play any games on NBC..the Nothin But Crysby network

Posted by: heathdog1119 | May 27, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

I think this is a poor decision. Like the comments above said, the Steelers will still be playing and the Pens just played in the first one in 2008.

Better idea: Caps at Sens in a "battle of the capitals". It's colder but since Ottawa doesn't really have a well known outdoor venue, hold the game a few hours away in Toronto at the SkyDome or Rogers Centre or whatever it's called now.

Instead, we'll all have to listen to Mike Milbury talk about how the new Consol Energy Center has 18,087 seats or how Crosby is Ovie's daddy.

Posted by: sabredc | May 27, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

@noslok

Seriously? Do you really think the NFL, the NHL, the Steelers, Heinz Field and all others didn't take that into consideration?

Check the NFL schedule. See when the Steelers last home game is before the game(Dec. 23). Then see when the earliest the Steelers next home game could possibly be(Jan. 8). How is that not enough time?

For people crying for canadian teams, the game is intended for a U.S. audience. Teams from the U.S. get higher ratings. Is that so hard to comprehend? The NHL is also doing a Canadian outside hockey game in February. That will involve two teams from Canada to get higher ratings on the Canadian networks.

The game is not in DC because Ted said he did not want the game in DC.

I can't believe people are actually complaining about this.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 27, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

1) I'm happy that the caps get to play in this game as they earned it with their presidents trophy season.
2) it's a disgrace to original 6 teams like Montreal and Toronto that they aren't invited to play in a game like this
3) This is not about the game, it's about $

sad!

Posted by: FrankM73 | May 27, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Talk is that Montreal is playing outdoors in Calgary in February.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | May 27, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

A decision made by a professional sports league is about money. OOOH, there's a shocker. Two teams that play an exciting brand of hockey (unlike some of the other teams in the league), featuring the two best players in the world, and a rivalry game to boot, and you folks are complaining? Have fun watching a meaningless college football bowl game, guys, i'll be watching the Caps and the Pens.

Posted by: rbpalmer | May 27, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I have two problems with this: one is that they are once again playing the same Crosby vs. Ovechkin marketing that they have been doing for years now and two is that they choose to announce this the day before the Finals. These two teams like them or not have faught all year to get the attention that comes with making the Finals and now the NHL has found a way to make a finals without Crosby or Ovechkin about Crosby and Ovechkin. Way to go NHL. Uhhh

Posted by: icehammer97 | May 27, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Well, this is the country where people bought a rock for a pet and made someone a millionaire. Be careful where you step, you might be stepping on another fool.

Posted by: hock1 | May 27, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Such a slap in the face to the larger, more continuously supported fanbases in the NHL. How the Maple Leafs, Habs or Rangers haven't gotten into a game yet and Pittsburgh gets in 2 is beyond me. The NHL sticks its middle finger up at established franchises on this one, which is consistent under Bettman. They only concern is about propping up weaker franchises and ignoring the traditional fan bases.

Posted by: JK111 | May 27, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Such a slap in the face to the larger, more continuously supported fanbases in the NHL. How the Maple Leafs, Habs or Rangers haven't gotten into a game yet and Pittsburgh gets in 2 is beyond me. The NHL sticks its middle finger up at established franchises on this one, which is consistent under Bettman. Their only concern is about propping up weaker franchises and ignoring the traditional fan bases.

Posted by: JK111 | May 27, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Who cares, regular season games are totally meaningless to me now, unless there is blood, especially from the Pens. Paint the flightless birds red!!!! Make them bleed!

Posted by: JohnWWW | May 27, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

What was Bettman thinking?

1)He placed two teams in the Winter Classic that have developed one of the best rivalries in hockey

2)These two teams bring four of the best players in hockey to the Winter Classic (Crosby, Malkin, Backstrom, & Ovechkin).

3)This game will have two of the highest scoring teams in the league.

4)TV ratings between these two teanms have been fabulous without the Classic brand attached the last couple of years.

What an idiot! Why on Earth would he want to bring as much attention to the sport as possible? It's not like he is the head of this multi-million dollar entity that is trying to make money. ;)

Posted by: croftonpost | May 27, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

It's great the Caps are in the Classic, but there are 28 other teams I'd rather see than them.

Posted by: Hattrik | May 27, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

What are the Capitals going to wear for their "throwback" uniform? Please not the 1974 jerseys....could this be the unveiling of the dreaded third jersey? If this third jersey is blue, it is going to not work if Pittsburgh wears their blue throwback jerseys. This is the kind of crazy stuff I worry about...I know...might be a waste of time but it is worth asking. I'm sure the Caps will make some dough on Winter Classic jerseys, hats, and other crap. Do Caps season ticket holders have any hopes of getting tickets? Less than $500 each??

Posted by: kmr2r | May 27, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

"Better idea: Caps at Sens in a "battle of the capitals". It's colder but since Ottawa doesn't really have a well known outdoor venue, hold the game a few hours away in Toronto at the SkyDome or Rogers Centre or whatever it's called now."

Even when our baseball teams were called the Washington Senators, our nicknames for them were always the "Nats", not "Sens." So as far as I am concerned, ANY professional sports franchise named "Senators", whether it is based in Ottawa or Harrisburg is going to the "Nats", NOT "Sens."

Edward J. Cunningham
Rockville, MD

Posted by: femfour | May 27, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Don't they ummm play this game somewhere else every year and pick different teams etc? Like get over it people! All the kids on the short bus will get to play eventually, lol. HELLO -- this is about making money and bringing attention to the sport, and nothing else. This is a BUSINESS. So featuring 2 teams which will draw viewers ahh duh that seems to be a pretty good idea! Me, I def want to get tickets to go see it live!

Posted by: jeffcoud2 | May 27, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I understand Bettman's decision, but I don't think Pittsburgh should be in a 2nd Winter Classic so soon. Washington vs. Pittsburgh is always a great game, but Bettan constantly pushing Crosby to the forefront gets very annoying very quickly.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 27, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Totally agree with Timmyv38, hattrick, and noslok.

I understand the game is about making money, but putting the Penguins in their second Classic when so many teams have not had an opportunity is just wrong. No matter what the reason. Bettman is terrible, horribly unoriginal. NY, Ott, just about any one else would have made for a better game for the NHL. Not a better match up, but a better game/Classic.

See you in Pitt on New Years Day.

Posted by: Hokies4Caps20 | May 27, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

This is so lame.

Crosby and Ovie will play eachother at least 4 times every year for the next decade, throw in the inevitable playoff appearances and you have countless more.

All 4 games during the regular season are already nationally televised. There's nothing unique or special about a Pitt/Wash regular season hockey game even if it is outside. The NHL would be better served recognizing the other teams and their stars in the Winter Classic and stop forcing the Ovie vs Crosby agenda on us all the time.

Posted by: Terpsrule | May 27, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't get this whining at all. Bettman isn't doing anything that every other head honcho doesn't do in every other sport.

Examples-

MLB-Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Dodgers, Cardinals, Phillies, Mets etc.

NBA-Lakers, Celtics, Cavaliers, Magic, Suns, Spurs etc.

NFL-Cowboys, Steelers, Patriots, Redskins, Colts, Raiders, Giants, Packers, etc.

Every sport has teams that draw better ratings and that is why we see them on the national broadcasts much more than others. The Titans and Ravens of the NFL have won many games this past decade but don't get much national exposure because they both have a rather insignificant national following. While the Raiders haven't been to the playoffs in nearly a decade but still get national exposure because they have a significant national following. It's all about business people. Nobody said it was supposed to be fair.

Posted by: croftonpost | May 27, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

crofteonpost...you've made my point. The NHL's core markets are Toronto, Montreal, Detroit and New York, and to a lesser extent Boston and Chicago. I know Pittsburgh is on an upswing these last few years, as are the Caps but the NHL still has failed to allow 3 of their top 4 markets a Winter Classic...the markets that sustained this league for over 80 years. EVen if the Caps and Pens are hot right now, it shouldn't trump such an extended period of fan interest for these original six teams that are routinely shafted foe the flavor of the month cities.

Posted by: JK111 | May 27, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

crofton, I'll be honest. If I was a fan of one of the East teams who had not yet been in a Winter Classic (especially one of them with a long history), I'd be pissed about the Pens getting a 2nd Classic already. The only reason for it is so Bettman can continue to push Crosby as the "face" of the NHL. If Bettman keeps this up, he's going to wind up hurting the NHL's fan support even more.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 27, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

The Pens? in the Winter Classic again?
Wouldn't it have been healthier for the sport to include a promising Western Conference and/or Canadian team, perhaps the Canucks?

Bettman, this isn't the NBA; why must you continue to try to twist Ovechkin and Crosby into Magic and Bird on ice?

Posted by: stateofcolumbia | May 27, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

One thing I do have to say that I found online. Apparently, there will be two outdoor games this season - Jan. 1 and Feb. 20. The February 20th game will be featuring Calgary and Montreal. If that info is actually correct, then Pens vs. Caps doesn't seem quite as bad. However, my previous point about Bettman and Crosby still stands.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 27, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I would have loved seeing the game in the DC area. Also seems like the Rangers would have been a better choice considering Penguins have already played. Anyway, I hope the Caps do wear their 1970's era uniforms!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | May 27, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Bettman screwed the Caps. This game should be played in DC at FedEx field. This just sucks...

Posted by: Berndaddy | May 27, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm not surprised it's not being held in DC - the weather doesn't stay consistently cold enough in early January to make sure the surface would be playable. But New York or Montreal would be a much better site than Pittsburgh.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 27, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

You guys have to be kidding about being upset about this!!
I love that the Caps get their Winter Classic....would I like it to be local, sure.....but it is what it is.
This has little to do with Bettman this time, This (like all the previous Winter Classics) is all NBC's doing. What two teams get them the best ratings. Anyone wanna guess?? Yep. Caps and Pens.
Also, it's my understanding that the Canada version (MTL @ the Flames) is to be held on Jan 2nd.
Seems like a pretty solid weekend of hockey if you ask me.
Really....what do we as fans have to complain about here besides not getting home ice)?
Just my two cents.

Posted by: j3rockstar | May 27, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

kmr2r ........Vistors wear white in NHL.

Posted by: sporttraveler | May 27, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

One other item of consideration fellow Caps fans. I hope everyone realizes that this wasn't all Bettman's doing. It is a rock solid guarantee that NBC had just as much say if not more than Bettman did in this decision. That instantly means Toronto and Montreal are eliminated from consideration. Although from NY the Rangers aren't exactly likely to be a sexy choice from NBC's perspective either due to their recent struggles.

Posted by: croftonpost | May 27, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

rockstar beat me to the punch about NBC. Sorry for the similar post guys.

Posted by: croftonpost | May 27, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

j3rockstar, pretty much the only thing that bothers most people is the Pens getting a 2nd Winter Classic in 4 years. The networks don't determine the matchups, the NHL does - and that means Bettman. They could get better ratings by having teams with a larger following, although I do think Calgary/Montreal is a very good idea for that reason.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 27, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

@sporttraveler
Good point....I would love to see the 74' Red, White, and Blues!!!
I'm sure the NHL is drooling over the thought of profits for the sales of those too!!

Posted by: j3rockstar | May 27, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38
I have to respectfully disagree. The NHL proposed the Capitals at Fenway for last years game. NBC trumped the idea and pushed the Flyers in their place.
I'm not excited about The Pens getting a 2nd one either....I believe it should be two North of the border teams....but I'm not going to complain if the Capitals are involved.

Posted by: j3rockstar | May 27, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

BTW....NBC ate crow on that decision as well as last years game was (I believe) the lowest rated of the 3 in the current format.

Posted by: j3rockstar | May 27, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

One thing you will never see in the "Winter/Penguins Classic" is a Canadian team. At least not as long as NBC is televising the game.

This is an NBC event -- not an NHL event. And NBC is not going to let them put any team from a Canadian city into that game. Every person in Montreal could watch and it would do nothing for NBC's ratings.

So forget Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary.

Clearly, after the Caps/Pens game, the next city to host will be New York -- probably in New Yankee Stadium. The Rangers will probably play a Western Conference team -- perhaps L.A. because of the size of the TV market.

After that, it will be Pittsburgh's turn again. Then I don't know what they're going to do. Maybe by then NBC will be through and they can start making good match-ups instead of just pandering to a network... yea, right.

Posted by: noslok | May 28, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

I thought the Winter Classic was going to be Cheef vs Leeguru in shinny.

Or will that be the halftime show?

OK, maybe we can go back to figuring out what McPhee will do to fix the team.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 28, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

if it's clutterbuck's hitting that appeals to people, then i'd suggest we target and go after jordin tootoo

Posted by: vermontcaps | May 27, 2010 4:18 PM |

Are you being serious, or are you just reaching for stupid claims to back up your love for a one-dimensional enforcer?

Posted by: richmondphil | May 28, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

First, the game probably would have been in Yankee stadium if not for that new bowl game there.

Ted didn't want it in DC, so there went that possibility. Phiily and Boston were out because they were in it last year. Chicago and Detroit were in it the year before. Toronto and Montreal are Canadian teams so no. Hmmmm, it really wasn't that difficult of a decision to make.

Just like the NBA is not going to choose Charlotte vs. Sacramento this year for a Christmas day game the NHL is incredibly smart to promote its very best at a time when a lot of non-NHL fans are watching. Yes, they do it to promote Ovehckin and Crosby. The leagues two biggest stars. Just like the NBA puts LeBron and Kobe on Christmas day. Is it really that difficult to comprehend.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 28, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Let me amend my earlier statement. No "Winter/Penguins Classic" could be held at New Yankee Stadium because they have a college football bowl game there. So it would probably be at Citi Field.

New Meadowlands stadium would be hard because two NFL teams use it. So there are few, if any, off weeks there.

Posted by: noslok | May 28, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

And the Caps being in the Winter Classic rules. The fact that they get to play the Pens in it, one of the biggest rivalries from the late 80s/90s and slowly becoming another big rivalry is awesome.

I will certainly be attending this.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 28, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

The NHL's core markets are Toronto, Montreal, Detroit and New York, and to a lesser extent Boston and Chicago.

_______________________

Chicago didn't have any fans 3 years ago....

Posted by: richmondphil | May 28, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

Reaching for stupid claims is vermontcaps' trademark.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 28, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Is it too early to start rallying troops to see to it that Heinz field is filled with Red, White, and Blue stars the way FedEx is filled with Terrible Towels?

Posted by: j3rockstar | May 28, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

BTW guys, you do know that the Habs and Flames are playing in a WC too? In February.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 28, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

should be billed as the "Heritage Classic".

Posted by: j3rockstar | May 28, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

should be billed as the "Heritage Classic".

Posted by: j3rockstar | May 28, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Oops.....sorry about the double post.

Posted by: j3rockstar | May 28, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

richmondphil - I posted that a bit ago. Someone else said they heard January 2, but I heard February 20. Do you have a link to it?

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 28, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

I was the one that said game two would be on Jan. 2nd. I believe I misunderstood. TSN is reporting Feb. here....
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=322828

Posted by: j3rockstar | May 28, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

rockstar beat me to it.

Anyways guys, want to get back to arm-chair GMing?

Who else doesn't want Theo to re-sign, especially at around 4 mil?

Posted by: richmondphil | May 28, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

I love Theo and think he is a real nice guy, but he can't be re-signed. The salary cap makes it necessary the Caps have Varly and Neuvy as the goalies. I don't think there really is another feasibly option.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 28, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

I agree, but for some reason it was brought up in the last thread.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 28, 2010 1:38 AM | Report abuse

I am boycotting - not gonna watch this Nuttin' But Cindy production. The big bad Russian Ovechkin will be frustrated and finally defeated by the good old Nova Scotian. Screw that - find a better plot Bettman. Quit counting your change and listen up: another storyline instead of the tired encore.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | May 28, 2010 2:09 AM | Report abuse

On Jose T. -- he is done for sure with the Caps, and I also think he is not going to see 4 and change that we paid him, even for a ST deal with any NHL club. Not sure who would want him given he sort of choked in two playoffs in a row.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | May 28, 2010 2:11 AM | Report abuse

New Years Day in Pitttsburgh?
I was hoping for NYC. Or even Jupiter or Mars. I'm gonaa go anyway. Hope lot's of Caps fans are.

Posted by: ridgely1 | May 28, 2010 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Who cares? For once I'd like to see the Caps play in the May/June classic.

Posted by: rgibson25 | May 28, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin cannot win the big game, so if this is a big game, he will lose...

Posted by: kkd76 | May 28, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

I booked a room at the Pittsburgh Hilton a couple of weeks ago. Figured it would be easier to cancel if things fall through for me rather than trying to scramble for a room after the announcement. I spent some time in downtown Pittsburgh, stayed at the Rennaisance last time in 2006, and was very surprised with that area of the city. Relatively safe as big cities go with decent restaurants in walking distance. The Hilton is right across the River from Heinz field. If any of you are considering going to the Winter Classic I would recommend you get on line now to reserve your room.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 28, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Didn't the Caps come back and win the big televised Snowmaggedon game against Pitt when Mike Milbury said that Crosby was Ovi's daddy? C'mon, this will be fun to see the Caps beat the Penguins again.

If the Caps don't resign Theo (and it seems really unlikely that they will), Varley and Neuvy for about 860K each looks like a value for the money situation. Can the Caps still keep Holtby in Hershey and use him if either goalie gets injured?

Posted by: dccitizen1 | May 28, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Just booked a hotel room for the Classic...if you are planning on going I would do the same...there were not many more rooms left! Now that only leaves the issue of getting tickets...even as a STH for the past few years it will probably be near impossible to get tickets! I am hoping it won't be too hard, considering the game is at Heinz, which holds more people that the baseball stadiums...we shall see! So, I guess I better be ready to shell out some cash! I still hate that it is vs. the Pens in Pitt, but at least room rates are cheap in the "armpit" of America.

Posted by: NatyBG | May 28, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

kmr2r ........Vistors wear white in NHL.

Posted by: sporttraveler


And the Pens wore blue in the first WC in Buffalo. So why can't the Caps wear the old red uni's?

Posted by: Steve_R | May 28, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Who cares? For once I'd like to see the Caps play in the May/June classic.

Posted by: rgibson25 | May 28, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Exactly!

and there's nothing to bi*ch about whom the Caps get to play in WC because they don't even deserve to be in it after the embarassement in the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | May 28, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I booked my room in Pittsburgh yesterday afternoon.

Posted by: KAS2 | May 28, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

joek,

Deserve? Why would deserve even enter into things? It's about ratings for NBC. So figure in the next decade at least 2 more Ov vs Sid on 1/1....

Posted by: Steve_R | May 28, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

NatyBG: I have linked a report for last year's Winter Classic in Boston. A portion of the article has me optimistic that as a season ticket holder I may get an option to buy tickets prior to tickets being made a available to the general public.

"In addition to tickets made available through the drawing, Bruins season ticket holders and Flyers season ticket holders will be notified by each respective club later this month regarding details on their chance to purchase tickets."

Capacity is over 60,000. Let's say the end zone seats aren't sold because the vantage point would be horrible in the ice is centered on the field. That probably still leaves about 40,000 seats with approximately 30,000 season ticket holder combined between the Caps and Pens. Even if every season ticket holder purchased all their seats there would still be 10,000 for general sale. Not to mention the luxury boxes. I just hope that I am able to purchase 4 tickets because I have 4 season tickets.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 28, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Darn it, here's the link to the article.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=45104

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 28, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1: Thanks for the info, it makes me feel a bit better too! I would LOVE it if I could get tickets without having to pay someone in Pitt 5X the purchase price for tickets on stubhub!

Posted by: NatyBG | May 28, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

All these jokes complaining on here that this is a terrible idea- blah...

Guaranteed you're all going to be glued to NBC on Jan 1. Not even a question.

Oh- and booked a room at the Marriot. That was the easy part. Now it's on to hunting for tix.

Posted by: Fro_ | May 28, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

This is all about 2 of the NHL's most marketable players.
That they happen to be on teams with a great geographic rivalry is just a bonus. Its all about driving a ratings number.
The first one was in Buffalo...they had to put an interesting opponent in it. Vanek is a good player but not many people even know where he plays.
I think its a good thing for both teams and cities. A rivalry game would be a great tradition to start and just alternate locations.
Let's face it...Pens vs Caps is significantly more interesting than a bad Leafs team vs Buffalo(although that one would be a decent geographic rivalry Toronto is still rebuilding).

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | May 28, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I agree PITT should not have another turn before other teams. I am tired of Ovie being used as a foil to show off the league's Princess.

And look at where the league's "all-crosby, all the time" marketing has gotten them with CHI & PHL in the finals - madly trying to market the "special" players in those cities. If the league had spread the marketing wealth around, so to speak, and marketed a variety of the young studs (including American players like Kane and Byfuglien or Van Riemsdyk and Carle) they wouldn't be in this fix now.

Someone tried to convince me that the league was doing this to entice more TV coverage/paying contract down the line. But if you have already done your "biggest" game, what is the incentive. You say to a potential network, "if you do this contract, your 1st winter classic will be......).

And if they are going to do this to engage American audiences, then at least one of the teams should have a very talented young American to show the American kids that they too can shoot for the NHL, that it's not just for Canadians and Euros. (Although I am most happy that our top line Euros play here).

And yes, stomping on the CHI-PHL parade to ensure that Princess name stays in the news is so classless.

Posted by: Varly | May 28, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

One of these days, there will be a bright shining moment when the NHL decides that the Caps can be a dynamic team WITHOUT having to bring the #5@!^#&%!!@# PENGUINS into it every stinking time.

Posted by: irockthered | May 28, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

The league has been marketing Kane and Toews. Backstrom was in their Calder class and until this season wasn't recognized by the rest of the league as a superstar. Here in Washington we knew he was a special player by mid season of his rookie year. Started making his mark with his OT goal against Philly in BB's first game as Head coach.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 28, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Fro, we'll all be watching it for the Caps. I wouldn't be surprised if viewing is lower than previous Classics in other areas though. Bettman could do a lot more for the NHL by having games like this showcase up and coming stars, rather than ones who have been big names for the last few years.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 28, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

if it's clutterbuck's hitting that appeals to people, then i'd suggest we target and go after jordin tootoo

Posted by: vermontcaps | May 27, 2010 4:18 PM |

Are you being serious, or are you just reaching for stupid claims to back up your love for a one-dimensional enforcer?

Posted by: richmondphil | May 28, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

tootoo's an enforcer? or did i jump in the middle of a thread I didn't get the full story on?

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 28, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse


if it's clutterbuck's hitting that appeals to people, then i'd suggest we target and go after jordin tootoo

Posted by: vermontcaps | May 27, 2010 4:18 PM |

Are you being serious, or are you just reaching for stupid claims to back up your love for a one-dimensional enforcer?

Posted by: richmondphil | May 28, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

tootoo's an enforcer? or did i jump in the middle of a thread I didn't get the full story on?

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 28, 2010 11:03 AM

Pretty much, vermontcaps is insisting that Clutterbuck is only useful as an enforcer-type.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 28, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

One of these days, there will be a bright shining moment when the NHL decides that the Caps can be a dynamic team WITHOUT having to bring the #5@!^#&%!!@# PENGUINS into it every stinking time.

Posted by: irockthered | May 28, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

they're largely one-dimensional with a spotty work ethic. Dynamic at times, boring at others. As a hockey fan, I'm just glad I can sit back and enjoy two teams like the Hawks and Flyers going at each other tooth and nail with everything they've got. The last (and only time) the Caps made the Finals, they put forth one of the most boring efforts that I've ever seen in any Cup final. If you weren't a Caps fan, that series was a real snoozer.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 28, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Pretty much, vermontcaps is insisting that Clutterbuck is only useful as an enforcer-type.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 28, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

lol if its true

Clutterbuck's a solid player. Much better than Tootoo (who I love also but only as a 8 min/game guy on the 4th line.). Why is everyone talking about CC anyway? any rumblings of a trade or something?

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 28, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be surprised if viewing is lower than previous Classics in other areas though.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 28, 2010 10:57 AM

I actually have a different opinion on this. I think viewing will be higher. NBC is already going to have Caps and Pens fans watching, along with die hard hockey fans as well. This is true for any big time game. (Both teams fans and die hard fans of said sport). Now what they're shooting for is the casual fan who isn't all that familiar with the over-saturation of Crosby/Ovechkin. The casual fan doesn't sit around all day reading blogs and posting on message boards (like me/us). To them- it's Yankees/Red Sox. Probably not a fan of either team, but they know it's going to be exciting either way. Lots of scoring, drama, etc. That is exactly who the Winter Classic is geared towards. And looking at it from that perspective- Caps/Pens is a no-brainer.

Posted by: Fro_ | May 28, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

So, let me get this straight. Hockey doesn't get good ratings and isn't a very popular sport, but fans think it should be because it's so great. Yet when the league tries to do something that will bring more attention and very likely more fans to the sport, the fans are against it? How does that make sense?

Yes, Pittsburgh is in its second Winter Classic? Yes, there are a lot of teams with major followings that haven't gotten a chance yet. Who cares? This is about selling the sport to the general public and getting ratings. The way to do that is to present the league's biggest, most commercial rivalry, one that we can see has gotten even non-hockey fans excited in recent years.

You people really need to stop complaining. It's OK to not be offended by something once in a while.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | May 28, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Bettman could do a lot more for the NHL by having games like this showcase up and coming stars, rather than ones who have been big names for the last few years.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 28, 2010 10:57 AM

I agree there should definitely be some sort of marketing of younger talent. Unfortunately- the NHL isn't at that point yet. It really has to keep showcasing the big time players for another couple years. Until the NHL can get back on track with ESPN, it just has to keep the spotlight on the stars.

The NHL doesn't have the momentum of any of the other 3 major sports. You just don't hear about guys in the minor leagues as you would in say, baseball- like Strasburg. And in the NBA and NFL you have the college level to promote talent.

Posted by: Fro_ | May 28, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

You guys see this?

From ESPN:

The Washington Capitals have their top-line center role taken care of, as they signed Nicklas Backstrom to a 10-year extension recently. But they'll likely look to fill the second-line center role this offseason in free agency.

The top centers on the market are Patrick Marleau and Tomas Plekanec, but it's very unlikely the Caps go after those guys. As CSN's Corey Masisak writes, the best fit might be Matthew Lombardi, who "has the wheels to keep up with Laich and Semin."

Another option is New York Rangers' vet Vaclav Prospal, but it's tough to project how much money he'll demands because he made just $1.1 million with the Rangers this season after being bought out by the Lightning while he was on a $3.5 million year. So he'll command more than that $1.1 million, but Masisak writes ,"how much will determine if Washington could become a possible destination."

The last option is retaining either Brendan Morrison or Eric Belanger, but the Caps do want to upgrade from those two. So this may be their last option.

A lot of this will come down to money, because there's buzz that the Caps will sign defenseman Anton Volchenkov on July 1 for about $5 million a year. That would significantly cut down on their center options.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | May 28, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

@timmyv38

Didn't mean to pick apart your post. Just figured it could make some discussion.

And all I know about Clutterbuck, is when I saw him play against the Caps- he kinda irritated me.

I would welcome him on the Caps.

Posted by: Fro_ | May 28, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Lombardi would be the best fit. He had a career year this season, and his cap hit was 1.817. I imagine he'll want a little raise- but I don't see him getting more than 2.7 or so. 19-34-53 in 78 games.
By comparison- Laich had 25-34-59 in the same number of games.

Admittedly, I haven't seen Lombardi play that much- so I don't know if his style of play would fit. But based on the numbers, it could work.

Posted by: Fro_ | May 28, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Admittedly, I haven't seen Lombardi play that much- so I don't know if his style of play would fit. But based on the numbers, it could work.
-------------------

his style of play fits in exactly with what the Caps like - speedy finesse center.

I expect this to therefore be a valid rumor.

What the Caps really need is some better 2way play at center past Backstrom. They need guys who can create some offense but also play with an edge and can also play defensively. This player doesn't have to break any speed records on the ice. You can forego a little bit of pure speed for some other attributes.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 28, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

tootoo's an enforcer? or did i jump in the middle of a thread I didn't get the full story on?

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 28, 2010 11:03 AM |

No, he's not. Someone suggested Clutterbuck, and I said I would love him on the team. Vermontcaps doesn't want Clutterbuck, he wants a 1-dimensional enforcer. Then he said that if we want Clutterbuck, we might as well go after Tootoo.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 28, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm not on board with Volchenkov at $5 million per. From the few times I've seen him, he is an excellent shot blocker who can get torched by faster forwards. Add that to the zero offense he brings, I'd pass at that price. If his demands come down a bit, the Caps should make that move.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 26, 2010 7:39 PM |

I agree.

Volch should not get more than 4-4.5 mil.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Volchenkov's lack of offense should not at all be of concern. In fact, I don't want any offense from him. I want him to play on his side of the blueline. Any offense from him should be considered a bonus. I don't know where this notion came about that all defensemen need to provide some # of points. Its silly. If he's at the point and fires off a shot that sneaks thru, great. But his primary and I daresay ONLY responsibility should be to play a punishing brand of defensive hockey that sets a tone and example for the rest of the team.

And re: his salary worth. On some teams that don't have a need for him as much, he may not be worth over 5 mil. On our team, arguably the one team that needs his type of player the most, he's easily worth that.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 28, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Someone suggested Clutterbuck, and I said I would love him on the team. Vermontcaps doesn't want Clutterbuck, he wants a 1-dimensional enforcer. Then he said that if we want Clutterbuck, we might as well go after Tootoo.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 28, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

oh gotcha, your response makes sense. Cal's on a higher plan than is that Inuit Eskimo. Who I wish we had still drafted instead of Fussey or Jeff Lucky.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 28, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

And re: his salary worth. On some teams that don't have a need for him as much, he may not be worth over 5 mil. On our team, arguably the one team that needs his type of player the most, he's easily worth that.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 28, 2010 12:15 PM |

It's just my personal opinion that in a salary-capped world, no strictly defensive players are worth 5 mil-ish.

Volch should get around what Regehr makes now, give or take. Volch actually has a pretty underrated shot and first pass...he just prefers to play in his own zone. Which is fine by me, but I just don't think strictly defensive players should make half of 10 mil/yr.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 28, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

but I just don't think strictly defensive players should make half of 10 mil/yr.

Posted by: richmondphil

Just reminded me of Caddyshack.

"Oh no you don't- you're in for half of $80,000".

Should set the mood for the weekend.

Well done sir.

Posted by: Fro_ | May 28, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

But who would Anton get paired with? He needs someone who can really cover his butt so he can be as aggressive in both hitting and shot blocking as he's been in Ott. If he gets too aggressive, he's out of position.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 28, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

But who would Anton get paired with? He needs someone who can really cover his butt so he can be as aggressive in both hitting and shot blocking as he's been in Ott. If he gets too aggressive, he's out of position.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 28, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Any big hitter gets out of position ONCE in a while (see Orpik, Phaneuf). That's not a concern. At his level, he's not out of position that much otherwise no one would consider him a top defenseman.

If the plan is to keep the Green-Schultz pairing intact (assuming ShaMo is sent packing), then I have no idea who he gets paired with. Carlson plays the same side Anton does (as does Green). I still don't think Alzner is ready for NHL duty full time although he has a summer to improve and may get a spot regardless of whether he deserves it or not. Poti also plays the right side.

so yeah, i have no idea who he gets paired with unless we make up a brand new defensive pairing with another free agent or trade pickup, or he gets paired with Schultz (which would make no sense).

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 28, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Phanuef is always out of position...haha.

@cstanton

I like the ring of Carlson/Anton to be honest. Carlson is a great two-way d-man, so he can provide any offensive threat, while Anton is able to still be paired with someone who can also defend. (Like his longtime partner, Phillips) I think them playing the same side doesn't matter too much, especially since Carlson is a righty and Anton is a lefty..works perfectly.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 28, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

good grief - i cant believe all the complaints on here. I just hope as a season ticket holder I get a chance to get a ticket. If all the pens and caps full season ticket holders get seats, that still leaves 20k left to sell. I hope to be there.

As Ted often says - try to be happy people.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | May 28, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

@CTCapsPhan:
Yeah, I heard that he's doing two games...

He's going to ruin this idea of a heritage classic...

honestly, the next 3 should have New York and Vancouver... Montreal and New York Islanders... Toronto and Ottawa...

that puts the 3 remaining original 3 teams in the classic and covers getting 3 other well followed markets...

Posted by: FrankM73 | May 28, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

one more thing - alot of people saying this game should be in DC. you cant play this in DC. Its not often, but theres always a chance that its like 50 to 60 degrees on January 1st. Than what?

Posted by: capsfansince74 | May 28, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

well anton is a left handed shot so maybe he could fit in with Carlson. That would end up being our best pairing (whether the Caps want to admit it or not) over Green/Schultz.

I think the Caps need TWO new players on D. From outside the org. One via FA, the other via trade. But regardless of all that, no matter who you have on your roster, you still need the right leadership at coach and GM. So adding AV may get us closer, maybe it gets us out of the 1st round. But without being a McPhee hater for a second, I still honestly think this team never wins a Cup with him at the helm. He doesn't know which moves to make at which times. He has no feel for his own team. And when he needs to pull the trigger on the right move at the right time, he fails.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 28, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

capsfansince74:
50, 60, 70+ degrees is not the issue for playing outdoor hockey - high humidity and/or rain would be the problem - makes the ice slushy

"In September 1991, a night exhibition game between the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings was played before 13,000 fans in 85-degree heat in Las Vegas, on a rink set up outside Caesar’s Palace"
http://slapshot.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/30/a-brief-history-of-outdoor-hockey/

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 28, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

So anyone know aproximately how much tickets will cost?

Posted by: capscoach | May 28, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

AV has a very high salary, expected to be $5m area. Another option could be Dan Hamhuis for the Preds. He also is a UFA and his cap hit should be substanially less than AV's. I would say somewhere in the $3-3.5m range at most. Like AV he is a left handed shot and is a true stay-at-home D.

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | May 28, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Hamhuis is a lesser player than is AV. He's not enough of any upgrade to make any real tangible difference, imo. I'd take him in addition to AV, but not instead of. Rather us spend the extra money to get a real impact player for a change. I'm sick of getting everyone else's scraps at a "bargain" price.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 28, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

and I don't mean Hamhuis is a bad player. Just that, we go after Chara and we lose out so we get Poti. Or Pothier. Or BMo etc etc.

None of those guys are high impact players. So instead of spending a couple million here, a couple million there and getting average players, its time we get a really good one.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 28, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

And there's a reason that they can be had at bargain prices...

Posted by: Steve_R | May 28, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

does anyone know what the chances are of bringing Belanger back ?

I'm in the "don't bring him back" camp. I'd rather see MP up here over EB. And AGordon and SPinner up here as well. We need some new blood upfront I think and bringing in 3 young players who hustle their butts off and offer a varying skillset would be nice to see. And dumping Flash, EB and possibly a 3rd player (BG?) would free up the room on our roster.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 28, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I actually have a different opinion on this. I think viewing will be higher. NBC is already going to have Caps and Pens fans watching, along with die hard hockey fans as well. This is true for any big time game. (Both teams fans and die hard fans of said sport). Now what they're shooting for is the casual fan who isn't all that familiar with the over-saturation of Crosby/Ovechkin. The casual fan doesn't sit around all day reading blogs and posting on message boards (like me/us). To them- it's Yankees/Red Sox. Probably not a fan of either team, but they know it's going to be exciting either way. Lots of scoring, drama, etc. That is exactly who the Winter Classic is geared towards. And looking at it from that perspective- Caps/Pens is a no-brainer.

Posted by: Fro_ | May 28, 2010 11:22 AM

I see your point, but I think it's wrong. Many hockey fans are pissed about this matchup, and are saying they won't watch it. It will probably get many casual fans, but will lose many of the diehard fans.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 28, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

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