Before you start to freak out about the Wings playing poorly (which is far from the truth) or struggling (puh-lease), heading out in the cold in this case means exactly as it sounds. In the 2010 calendar year, the State of Michigan will be involved in some of the more unusual hockey games that the sport has ever produced. Essentially the only real good thing that hockey has going for it now – the changing of venues to unique stadiums – has not lost its glitz yet, that is while everyone is getting their shots in while they can.
Hockey is not alone in making attempts to play in new venues. The Detroit Shock played a game against the New York Liberty on the stage at Radio City Music Hall. In fact, a game with the Phoenix Suns this year was played at the Indian Wells tennis center main stadium. The oddest venture of baseball recently came with an exhibition last year at the LA Coliseum, where the leftfield porch is just shy of 250 feet. While that game did break an attendance record, it was marred by excessive looting and violence.
The biggest question for the NHL will be whether they place the Wings as part of a MSU-UM doubleheader at Michigan Stadium. U of M, who could potentially play in 3 non-hockey venues in a calendar year (Michigan Stadium, Camp Randall in Madison and Ford Field for the Final Four), would become pros at this much like Ty Conklin has become in the NHL. With the Winter Classic a once-in-a-year event, it would be hard to believe that they would want another game upwww their unique New Year’s event.