Rangers at Devils on Jan. 26, 2014
Rangers at Islanders on Jan. 29, 2014
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
The two games at Yankee Stadium complete the four-game 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ scheduled for next season. On Jan. 25, the Anaheim Ducks will play the Los Angeles Kings at Dodger Stadium. On March 1, the Chicago Blackhawks will host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field.We're on record as saying back in April that these rumored games feel like nothing more than a cash grab for a league that just lost half of its season to the lockout. Plus, while Devils season-ticket holders will get the first crack at seats for the Jan. 26 game, that doesn't mean they'll be anywhere close to your regular ticket price. The Devils have managed to keep most of their tickets relatively affordable, but by converting one of your 41 home games to a psuedo-Winter Classic, the NHL is jacking up the cost of that seat by probably at least 30 to 40 percent. Also, I can't imagine the Rangers are thrilled with being a visiting team for both of these games. There's a greater chance for injury due to the poor lighting and quality of the ice surface and they don't get the gate form either event. Not that they need it -- but I'm just saying.
“The innovative nature of the Stadium Series affords the opportunity to have all three NHL teams in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area play, outdoors, at one of the most-celebrated stadiums in the world,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “We'll be able to create a multi-faceted, multi-day experience for our fans, and we thank the teams, Coors Light, the New York Yankees and Yankee Stadium for their support of this memorable NHL event.”
Now for the positive, Devils fans will get to watch their team in a signature event, outdoors at Yankee Stadium against the rival Rangers. Also, with the theme of throwback jerseys in outdoor games, there's a really good chance the Devils will wear some variation of their Christmas sweaters, which is awesome. The thought of that alone is pretty cool. The other great part is the fans that can afford to go will get the chance a really unique event in a different setting or possibly scalp their season ticket for who knows much above face value.
In the end, like most things in the NHL, there's good and bad sides to this and it just depends on which way you want to look at it. For me, I see a money-hungry league obsessed with piercing the national consciousness ahead of and after the Olympics. I also see a diminished product put on a national stage on a dead sports day (outside of the Pro Bowl), which should draw pretty big ratings. And I guess any sort of business/ratings boon for the NHL is good for the hockey fan in me, right?