Beer Me an L.A. Winter Classic
I just got back from my New York vacation. It was hotter than hell out there. I came back to LA and it was nice and cool. I haven’t even seen the sun in the last two days.
So, to me, there is only one logical explanation:
We have switched weather with the East Coast.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, because I’m thinking it, too. “What’s going to happen to this year’s Winter Classic if it’s hotter than balls out on the East Coast?”
Got you covered.
I’m going to go put on my snowboarding gear while you read my list of Kings Winter Classic scenarios that I would love to see happen. Hopefully the NHL will approve one of these by the time Sidney Crosby plays in his 15th outdoor game.
1. Kings vs ANAHEIM in Southern California
Venue: Plenty to choose from. The Coliseum (Los Angeles) is the first place that comes to mind. This is home to USC Football, the X-Games, and concerts. It is definitely big enough for the crowd size we’re talking about. Other places include Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles), Angel Stadium (Anaheim), or my personal favorite, Pro Beach Hockey style:
2. Kings vs COLORADO in Vegas or Denver
Venue: VEGAS. If you have read any of my other posts, you already knew I was gonna go there. Well, I did.. and why not Vegas? It’s cold(ish) in the winter, it’s capable of an outdoor game (Kings-Rangers. Caesar’s Parking Lot. 1991.), the NHL loves the city as a special event destination (Not-so-terrible award show). There are plenty of places in Vegas to pull this off, but I would love to see another game go down at Caesar’s. I honestly can’t imagine a cooler city to make this happen: New Year’s Eve in Vegas. Spend the morning at the game. Fill in the blanks with gambling and drinking. Works for me.
I am aware that it does snow occasionally in Colorado. This could be a fun place for a Winter Classic, indeed. Invesco Field would provide a perfect scene for the outdoor game. Vegas would be awesome, but I think Colorado makes more sense. Sigh.
3. Kings vs EDMONTON in EDM or LA.
LA’s longest standing rivalry that most people can still identify with. Can’t you imagine a ceremonial puck drop by Gretzky and Dionne in throwback uni’s? Have the teams skate in their 80’s colors? Sounds pretty freakin’ awesome to me.
Venue: I think it’s pretty safe to say that Edmonton would get this one, since they held the ’03 Heritage Classic, LA still might have hope. If this is the case, I would love to see it at the Coliseum.
4. Kings vs VANCOUVER in VAN or LA.
Venue: Issue- Vancouver is a bit short on the outdoor venues. They have BC Place, which used to hold more than 32,000 but is now down to 27,500. That’s going to be too small, I would imagine. There is no fun playing this thing in a dome, so I’m going to default to Los Angeles on this one. Or Mystery, Alaska.
5. Kings vs PHOENIX in PHO or LA.
Originally, I was going to put the Sharks, but then I realized there was no real substance there. I was going to put the Rangers because the Kings played them in the 1991 outdoor game in Vegas, but that’s going to be a stretch. Then I looked at the Desert Dogs and it actually made a little sense.
Venue: The University of Phoenix Stadium (home of the Cardinals) has a retractable roof, so that might be nice. Chase Field (D’Backs) could work as well. If not, LA could fit the bill.
I think it’s going to be a while before Los Angeles gets to participate in a Winter Classic, but that goes without saying. The team just hasn’t been successful enough in recent history for national viewers to really care. I do, however, expect this all to change within the next 5 years. Guys like Doughty, Kopitar, Brown, and Quick are only going to strengthen the case that Los Angeles is a real NHL city capable of playing with the big boys.
And since it is L.A., we could even get Roland Emmerich involved and really Hollywood it up. He seems fond of putting snow where it doesn’t belong..