With the premiere of EPIX Presents Road to the NHL Stadium Series Brought To You By Coors Light, right around the corner, let’s take a look at the differences between the Winter Classic and the Stadium Series.
The Winter Classic was created to honor the tradition of how hockey was first played- outdoors on the pond. It creates nostalgia for the players who grew up playing the game outside on the pond with their friends.
Each Winter Classic game is played outdoors at either a baseball or football stadium on New Years Day. What makes this event truly remarkable is the possibility of snowfall during the game. It makes for an amazing viewing experience live and at home. By playing this game on New Years Day in frigid conditions, it creates a more authentic experience for everyone.
On the flip side, we have the NHL Stadium Series that will be played on February 21, 2015. Unlike the Winter Classic that has been an annual tradition since 2008, the Stadium Series will be having its second go around. The inaugural Stadium Series in 2014 did not have just one game played, it had 4 games. 7 teams competed outdoors at Dodger Stadium, Yankee Stadium, and Soldier Field in Chicago. This year the Stadium Series has been tweaked to only have one game between the Los Angeles Kings and the San Jose Sharks.
While reading this blog post you are probably asking yourself, “Why create this new outdoor tradition called the Stadium Series?” The reason behind it is to create a modern outdoor tradition that highlights the future of the NHL. The game shows how the NHL will continue to evolve over time.
When you look at both these unique outdoor traditions you can see the Winter Classic was created to honor the past, and the Stadium Series was created to honor the future of the NHL. The Winter Classic is meant to highlight everything that is great about the sport of hockey, and the Stadium Series is meant to show us how the sport will continue to evolve over time.
For example, we can see this in the teams that were selected to play in this year’s games.
The two teams that competed in the NHL Winter Classic were the Chicago Blackhawks and the Washington Capitals. Both franchises have a lot of history of being two teams that helped propel the sport into what it is today. More specifically, the Chicago Blackhawks are one of the Original Six teams that made up the National Hockey League in 1942.
Now looking at the teams that will compete in this year’s Stadium Series, the Los Angeles Kings and the San Jose Sharks are expansion teams that helped form the current NHL.
Even the jerseys worn by the players in the games brand these outdoor traditions differently. When you look at the Winter Classic jerseys they seem very retro. Meanwhile, when you look at the Stadium Series jerseys the look is very modern.
When it all comes down to it, the creators of these games have branded them to create different feelings for our love of hockey.
Although these outdoor traditions are different, they still attracted 70,000 screaming hockey fans every year to watch these teams square off. No matter if it’s about the past or the future of the game, we can all agree these outdoor traditions are the coolest games of the year.