Get your parkas and hand warmers ready, Edmonton Oilers fans, because we might be sitting in Commonwealth Stadium watching a hockey game sooner rather than later.
During Saturday night’s Headlines bit on Sportsnet, Elliotte Friedman said there’s a good chance the Oilers get an outdoor game in the 2021-22 season.
“I think my feet have finally thawed out from November 22nd, 2003 — the first of these generations outdoor games at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, the Oilers against the Montreal Canadiens. That was the one that set the stage, began the stretch of everything we see now. Well, I don’t think there’s going to be an outdoor game in Canada next year after the one in Regina, but I do believe for 2021-22, there’s a good chance the next one will be back in Edmonton. I think they feel they deserve another opportunity. After that one, it’s been everywhere except Montreal. I think there’s a good chance, Ron, that the Oilers will be the next Canadian outdoor host.” — Elliotte Friedman, Sportsnet Headlines
I was the tender age of…. 8?… when the first Edmonton Winter Classic happened, so I never got to experience the bitter cold — and bitter excitement — many felt that day. But I sure do have a few keepsakes Grandpa Laing saved for me from that day.
The fact that the Oilers are frontrunners to land another one of these Winter Classic games is tremendous. While having the absolute perfect climate (a frozen tundra) to be able to host the game, Edmonton hosts some of the league’s top stars to showcase in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
Getting them in the spotlight should be something the league tries to do more of, and this is a chance for just that.
There are some good options in terms of opponents for the Oilers, too. You could go back to the Canadiens, who they played in 2003, or you could go with a rival. Say, the Calgary Flames.
An Edmonton-Calgary outdoor Battle of Alberta would be tremendous. You bring in one of the league’s top two rivals in the Pacific Division and you’d surely bring up a number of Flames fans from Calgary.
What say you, Nation? Do you have any great memories from the 2003 game? Who would you like to see the Oilers square off against?
Let me know in the comment section below.