Saturday, June 20, 2009

When Pepperoni and Anchovy Pizza Meets Winter Classic

June 20. New York (peerlesspress). The National Hockey League shocked the hockey world this morning with its announcement that the NHL will forego the New Year’s Day “Winter Classic” format in favor of a radical new format. The NHL announced that all 30 teams will be in action on New Year’s Day 2010, replacing the single-game format that was employed by the league in 2008 and 2009.

Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the change, telling reporters that, “if one game is good, 15 is 15 times better.” When asked if such a change would be too much of a good thing, Bettman scoffed at the notion, replying that with the change in format the league would realize new streams of revenue that would strengthen the NHL for years to come.

As part of the change in format, the NHL will sell naming rights to games. Already, the NHL has announced that the Phoenix Coyotes will host the Colorado Avalanche in the Tostitos Fiesta Winter Classic, and the Florida Panthers will host the Tampa Bay Lightning in the FedEx Orange Winter Classic.

Talks are reportedly underway for the Minnesota Lightning and the Vancouver Canucks to meet in the Humanitarian Winter Classic in Boise, Idaho; for the Carolina Hurricanes to host the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Meineke Car Care Winter Classic; and for the Atlanta Thrashers to host the St. Louis Blues in the Chick-Fil-A Winter Classic. The Thrashers, however, are said to be lobbying the league to play the Panthers in what will be named “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Winter Classic.”

When news leaked of the revised format, reaction was swift in the hockey world. Larry Brooks of the New York Post penned a column decrying the move, stating that “the only classic games in the NHL are played in Manhattan.” Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reported that Jim Balsillie was seeking to reverse the decision to award the Phoenix Coyotes a slot on New Year’s Day, arguing that the game should be moved to Ontario and rebranded the “BlackBerry Winter Classic.” Meanwhile, commentator and hockey icon Don Cherry exploded.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation plans to partner with the league in this endeavor and plans to broadcast all day on New Year’s Day from locations in Fahler, Alberta; Invermay, Saskatchewan; and Tignish, Prince Edward Island.

When asked to confirm rumors that the NHL would abandon its long history of a multi-round playoff format in favor of a “Cup Championship Series” that would pit the top two teams in the league, as determined through computer models, strength of schedule, and other criteria, in a single winner-take-all contest to be played in Louisiana Superdome, Bettman declined comment.


Anonymous said...

Great parody! Turning the Winter Classic into bowl games to compete with the college bowl games and other football events.

While I think it's great to have one Winter Classic game in the U.S. and one in Canada (for CBC to broadcast), any more would be overkill.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

What league do the Minnesota Lightning play in again?

The Peerless said...

Well, it was the product of pepperoni and anchovy pizza...