It’s been reported by Howard Berger of Between The Posts that the Toronto Maple Leafs will host the 2017 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic at BMO Field. The Leafs rumored opponent — also an Original Six franchise and none other than the New York Rangers.
— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) December 15, 2015
If the report were to stand true, it would be the fourth outdoor hockey game the Broadway Blueshirts will take part in since 2012. The Rangers played in the 2012 Winter Classic against the Philadelphia Flyers at Citizens Bank Park in front of 46,000-plus fans — and won by a final score of 3-2.
New York then acted as the road team at Yankee Stadium, in the NHL’s first ever Coors Light Stadium Series game in January 2014, against the New Jersey Devils. The Rangers began the game trailing 3-1, but rallied and defeated Jersey’s Team 7-3 in front of 50,000-plus.
Just days later, the Rangers defeated the New York Islanders back in the Bronx by a final score of 2-1.
If the Rangers and Maple Leafs were to face-off — it would be the third time two Original Six franchises met in a Winter Classic game (2009 Detroit Red Wings vs. Chicago Blackhawks; 2014 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Detroit Red Wings). The game would also be the first Winter Classic hosted in Canada, and not in the United States.
There’s potential for a very exciting and entertaining couple of days for both Toronto and New York’s fans — just imagine that alumni game, and all the other festivities leading up to the game. Keep in mind, the Rangers could play spoilers in Toronto next January, as the Maple Leafs will be celebrating their centennial season, 100 year anniversary; hence a big reason why it’s likely the Leafs will host the game.
It’d be interesting to see what the jersey designs would end being too — let the concepts begin…
BMO Field is home to Toronto FC of the MLS, which currently seats 30,000. Yet, the venue is expected to add another 10,000 seats by November of 2016.