Although plans for next year’s Winter Classic remain fluid, what does seem to be virtually locked in is an outdoor game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers sometime in 2017.
The unresolved question is whether the game, likely to be held at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, will stand as the 2017 Winter Classic or part of the Stadium Series held a few weeks later, a source familiar with the proceedings told ESPN.com
The two state rivals have been talking for months about a plan for an outdoor game or series of outdoor games. There was discussion about playing an outdoor game at Penn State, but it’s believed financial demands by the university soured the teams on the neutral site as an option, so the two franchises have been looking at a reciprocal arrangement with an outdoor game played one year in Pittsburgh and a second game in Philadelphia perhaps the next year.
And there you have it. The long-rumored Beaver Stadium game is out, but it’s no surprise that the Flyers and Penguins will finally go at it outside. Maybe twice. Maybe even one more time in the morning.
Last month it was rumored that the Flyers would be getting 50th anniversary jerseys next year, perhaps as part of some outdoor game. That seems to be a decent possibility.
There are always ancillary events and details to come from this stuff, so we’ll keep an eye out for more news.