Wild notes: Winter Classic won't be in Minnesota next season

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 21, 2013 - 8:26 AM

 

The NHL will announce Saturday morning that the 2015 Winter Classic will be hosted by the Washington Capitals.

That means the Wild will have to wait until 2016 at the earliest to bring the NHL’s signature regular-season event to Minnesota.

“I thought for sure the State of Hockey was getting the next one,” Wild center Zenon Konopka said.

Konopka wasn’t the only one.

Since purchasing the Wild in 2008, Craig Leipold has submitted annual bids to host the Winter Classic.

“Are we disappointed? Yes,” said Leipold, who was informed of the league’s decision two weeks ago.

“We want the Winter Classic. It’s the marquee event in the NHL and we feel like our great hockey market is deserving of the marquee game in the NHL.”

“We also have two fabulous locations that could host it,” said Leipold, referring to Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium.

Leipold felt things were tracking toward the Wild playing host to the 2015 game; the 2014 game was awarded to the Detroit Red Wings at the Big House in Ann Arbor, Mich., because last year’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs was canceled because of the NHL lockout.

Three years ago, the league told the Wild that if it wanted to host a Winter Classic, it needed to get marquee players, be more marketable and become a playoff team.

On July 4, 2012, the Wild signed Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to 13-year, $98 million contracts each. Three years ago, it began producing its own HBO 24/7-like reality/feature show, “Becoming Wild.” And the Wild ended a four-year playoff drought last season.

“And when you talk about outdoor hockey, is there any other market that epitomizes it more than ours?” Leipold said. “Pond hockey started in the Iron Range of Minnesota.”

Parise, who would love to play in his first Winter Classic, concurs.

“You can’t think of a better place to have one,” Parise said. “Outdoor hockey has such a great history here, you’d think this would be the ideal place. This is kind of surprising to me.”

This season, the NHL will actually hold six outdoor games. Besides the New Year’s Day Winter Classic, it will hold the Heritage Classic between Ottawa and Vancouver and four games in the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series — two at Yankee Stadium, one at Dodger Stadium and one at Soldier Field.

“At this point, my response has been, ‘I’m not interested in those games,’ ” Leipold said. “We are interested in hosting the actual Winter Classic.

“We want it. We’ll continue to work at trying to convince the NHL that Minnesota is the place where this game needs to be played.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston - LP: D. Keuchel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: B. McCarthy 3
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 1 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 4
Detroit - LP: D. Price 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: A. Cobb 1
Arizona 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Washington 0
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 0 Suspended
Chicago Cubs - WP: T. Wada 2
Atlanta - J. Teheran 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - D. Holmberg
LA Angels - M. Shoemaker 6:10 PM
Boston - R. De La Rosa
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
San Diego - T. Ross 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Philadelphia
Carolina 8/22/14 6:30 PM
New England
NY Giants 8/22/14 6:30 PM
NY Jets
Jacksonville 8/22/14 6:30 PM
Detroit
Oakland 8/22/14 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Chicago 8/22/14 9:00 PM
Seattle
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
Montreal 8/22/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Washington 6:00 PM
Indiana
San Antonio 8:00 PM
Minnesota
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close