The promos are airing, tickets are close to sold, the rivalry is building, the Stadium Series is coming. Next Saturday night, NHL fans across the country will be entertained by the 2017 Stadium Series game, or this year known as The Battle of Pennsylvania. After both having experience in an outdoor game, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers will square off in what will be a spectacle of a game.
The Penguins and Flyers is a rivalry that was started 50 years ago when both teams were introduced into the league. Like the rivalry of the New York Rangers and New York Islanders, the close proximity and the sharing of state borders intensifies the hatred and need for success of both teams. This particular rivalry has been one that has only gotten more hostile as the years have gone on, with recent years producing some of the most entertaining playoff series the league has seen.
Although i am very much looking forward to the game outside in Pittsburgh on Saturday night, a game I wish i could go to, i can’t help but wonder when the league is going to expand the game to different teams. In recent years the league has consistently put the Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers in the game. I understand that the top teams in the league will bring in the most viewers, but the games are getting mundane at this point, there is no variety. The games in California proved that you can have an outdoor game in the heat, so why not include more southern teams. Including teams from all over the league will bring in more of a fan base than the ones that follow the teams that are constantly competing in the games.
Give teams like the Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, and Arizona Coyotes a chance to be part of such a league wide celebration of the game.