I know this year's Winter Classic is a day and a few hours away. I am looking forward to experiencing it with my boys from the confines of my living room in Louisiana, and hope to one day be present for a live event.
That said, I think next year's Winter Classic - and there will be one - should be in Canada. As I stated above, I am from Louisiana where the Dallas Stars are the closest NHL team. So I should want them to figure out how to have a Winter Classic there, right? Well, yes, if my motive was purely selfish.
But the true fan in me, however, would go for one of the following, more historic recommendations:
1. Percival Molson Field at McGill University in Montreal where the rules for Hockey were codified.
2. In Montreal, outdoors, and near the Bell Centre near where the first Stanley Cup was awarded .
3. Somewhere between Kingston and Hallifax, Ontario, in recognition of the possible beginnings of hockey as games between British soldiers in the mid-1800's.
After Canada, and in recognition of desires to showcase Hockey eastward:
4. In Sheffield, England where the G.R. Collis and Company forged the original bowl to the Stanley Cup.
5. Stamford Bridge Stadium, Chelsea, London, England near the original site of the Glaciarium, the first, artificially refrigerated ice hockey rink in Europe.
6. Inverness, Scotland, the home of the Camanachd Association which governs Shinty, an ancestor of the modern game of Hockey.
Several issues might arise with the destinations in England as the local weather for this 1 January is between 34 and 30 degrees Farenheit. There are also the travel and network timing requirements to coordinate. But history is made and recorded because it transcends normality. So these options should not be completely overlooked.
I would also offer the competitors for the game should be either Montreal and Ottawa (who played for the first awarding of the Stanley Cup) or Montreal and Toronto (the first two teams to vie for the Stanley Cup once it came under the official control of the NHL).
So the NHL can sleep off of the excitement of this year's Winter Classic on 2 January and then crack open the maps and get some historical perspective into the decision about where to hold the 2010 Winter Classic. I am a personal fan of McGill University but On Goal Analysis would like to know what you think - either drop a note through the Comments section below, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, we will tabulate the results and then send them on to the NHL.