Originally posted on NY Rangers Blog  |  Last updated 12/28/11
Dave Lozo at NHL.com reports that the Winter Classic will be Carl Hagelin's third time taking it outdoors as he previously played in two outdoor games while at the University of Michigan...

"I've played two outdoor games now, and I was more nervous for the first one than I was for the second one," Hagelin told NHL.com. "I know what the ice is going to be like. At Wisconsin, it was really cold so there were big chunks of ice coming up all the time. We were fortunate last year at The Big House (Michigan Stadium). We had the perfect temperature. The ice was like any other ice. I know how everyone is going to feel out there. It feels like you can skate forever. You don't really get tired on the ice with all the fresh air. At least, that's the way I felt."

When Hagelin played at the University of Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium against Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh and the Badgers back in Feb. 2010, it was in front of 55,031 fans. Against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium, there were 113,411 announced fans packed into the stadium in December of 2010, a record for attendance at a hockey game.

Citizens Bank Park will have a capacity of about 47,000 for the Winter Classic.

...it's not too often a team can look to a rookie for experience, but I'm sure more than a couple of veteran Ranger players have discussed the atmosphere of an outdoor game with Hagelin.

...h/t to readers Agentsmith and Matt L.

Meanwhile, Brian Boyle recalls a scary moment playing outdoors to NHL.com, when his father fell through the ice on a lake when the Rangers center was just four years old.

For more Winter Classic news including Mark Messier discussing the alumni game click the "Read More" tab below.

NHL.com says the forecast for Jan. 2 in Philadelphia is calling for a clear day and temperatures in the mid-40s, however the recent rain has been playing havoc with their ability to lay ice.

...this is the fifth year of the Winter Classic so I have all the confidence in the world that the NHL will have a nice sheet of ice come January 2nd.

The Empire State Building will celebrate the Winter Classic by shining its world-famous tower lights in Rangers and Flyers colors.

Here's Mark Messier discussing his preparations for the Winter Classic alumni game...



Remember to follow me on Twitter & Facebook or e-mail me at nyrfan94@yahoo.com.

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