Pull the knit hats out again, Blackhawks fans.
According to Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Blackhawks are scheduled to play the Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears, on March 1, 2014.
The game is part of the NHL's new format for the "Winter Classic." Instead of playing one outdoor game on New Year's Day, the NHL has scheduled six outdoor games throughout the season. The typical Winter Classic will go on as scheduled on New Year's Day between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium.
The other reported games are as follows:
Los Angeles Kings vs. Anaheim Ducks; Dodger Stadium, Jan. 25
New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers; Yankee Stadium, Jan. 26
New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders; Yankee Stadium, Jan. 29
Ottawa Senators vs. Vancouver Canucks; BC Place, Vancouver, Canada, March 2
BC Place is an outdoor stadium located in Vancouver. The facility played host to the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
The game will be the first outdoor match for the Chicago Blackhawks since their appearance in the 2009 Winter Classic, which saw the Blackhawks fall to the Red Wings, 6-4.
Earlier in 2013, Soldier Field hosted the inaugural "Hockey City Classic," a doubleheader matchup between four college teams. The Chicago Tribune deemed the Classic "a hit at Soldier Field."
The Blackhawks also skated on the Soldier Field ice and participated in a friendly scrimmage with disabled veterans before the Hockey City Classic.
The NHL has already approved a radical conference realignment for next season, although the Blackhawks and Penguins will remain in separate conferences.
Conditions could have an enormous impact on the proposed game. According to Weather.com, the average high on March 1 in Chicago is 41 degrees Fahrenheit. In 1992, Chicago set a record high on that date with a temperature of 73 degrees. The record low is five-below, set in 1962.
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