Found July 11, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
“Outdoor” game a cash grab? I like pizza a lot. But I learned my lesson about six years ago after a cheese coma inducing encounter at a Pizza Hut buffet one fateful afternoon. I gradually regained my vision and ability to form rational thoughts but I discovered that sometimes there truly can be too much of a good thing. It’s a simple fact that the NHL has failed to recognize, especially with the final details being confirmed for the 2014 Heritage Classic being released earlier today. The Canucks will be taking on their long-time arch rival… the Ottawa Senators Everyone remembers the snowflakes dancing in the wind as the Pittsburgh Penguins (in their highly underrated powder blue sweaters) took on the Buffalo Sabres in a game that was truly magical and perfect. The success of that first game in 2008 made the NHL saw dollar signs and the Winter Classic has now become a regular and anticipated stop on the NHL schedule. Of course, one game a year wasn’t enough and now the NHL is going to kill the gimmick to death while trying to suck as much money as they can out of the collective hockey public. This brings us to the Heritage Classic game in Vancouver scheduled for March 2 at BC Place. Aside from the fact that outdoor hockey doesn’t really exist in Vancouver; it’s a terrible idea from any angle. BC Place isn’t exactly a stellar venue to watch soccer or football so how on earth will anyone be able to see anything that’s going on when they throw fake ice onto the field. Not only that, it’s entirely possible that the “outdoor” game will be played with the roof covered. Fun stuff. To top it all off, the Canucks will be taking on their long-time arch rival… the Ottawa Senators. I don’t know about anyone else but I will never forgive the Sens for taking Peter Schaefer away from the Canucks back in 2002-03. Sure, Vancouver got Sami Salo in return but the impact Schaefer left on Vancouver during his time wearing Canucks colours was… pretty unremarkable. I love how the NHL tries to spin the two teams as rivals from 1915. I don’t think anyone who remembers anything to do with that series has breathed in oxygen since the 80s. How good would a battle with Montreal, Toronto or Chicago have been? Or what about a game against the Sabres (Vancouver’s expansion cousins)? The Senators don’t really drum up any interest or history to Vancouver fans at all. But in the end it won’t really matter. Vancouver fans will pack the joint, drink heavily and squint to see exactly what is going on in the middle of BC Place. The NHL and Canucks management will line their pockets and the cycle will continue. Meanwhile, I’ll be checking out the game on TV or waiting for a future “Heritage Classic” where the Canucks renew their harsh rivalry with the Columbus Blue Jackets (Samuel Pahlsson – never forget!). CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE CANUCKS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION AT NWSB!

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