Flashback to 2003 and the outdoor game that started this whole craze. The Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens did battle at the NHL Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton and the rest is history. The game was a true ice bowl and gave us some of the coolest moments in sport up until that point. I mean… who can forget Jose Theodore wearing his toque (Google it, Americans) over top of his goalie mask?
Well… gear up Oilers fans because NHL insider Elliotte Friedman is pointing to a return outdoors for the boys in orange and blue.
Check out this little tidbit from Friedman’s most recent 31 Thoughts column for Sportsnet:
Pencil in a return to Edmonton for the 2021-22 Heritage Classic. We froze at Commonwealth Stadium in November 2003, but it was an awesome event with a massive 50/50 prize. That was the template for everything outdoor to follow, and it is time the Oilers get another opportunity. They are the favourites for fall 2021.
No word yet on who the Oilers will play or whether the game will be held anywhere other than Commonwealth Stadium, but at this point we’ll take what we can get.
Still, the prospect of seeing Connor McDavid flying down the ice under the stars in Edmonton is already giving me chills. Let’s go!
The Oilers last played outdoors during the 2016 Heritage Classic, which was hosted by the Winnipeg Jets at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg. The OIlers came out on top 3-0 in that contest, which was held in October in an effort to avoid particularly low temperatures.