The NHL has announced the two teams competing in the 10th Annual Winter Classic on New Year’s Day 2018. The league will return to the roots of the event, pitting the original host of the first Winter Classic in 2008, the Buffalo Sabres, against their in-state rival, the New York Rangers. It is the first Winter Classic to be held in New York City, and the Rangers will host the event at Citi Field in Queens, home of the New York Mets.
Ironically, the area of New York where the Mets play has been the rumored location of a possible new arena for the New York Islanders, the one New York team left out of the proceedings. Nonetheless, this will be a great event on January 1st, as hockey fans throughout the state and the Big Apple will flock to see the rivalry match-up between two exciting teams. The Sabres are a team in flux, but Jack Eichel and his teammates will have something to prove. Meanwhile, the Rangers want to defend their status as the best team in New York and will bring the King, Henrik Lundqvist, and a deep, talented line up to try to get the job done. Interestingly, due to an odd agreement regarding the tax status of Madison Square Garden, the Rangers will likely be the visitors and the Sabres the home team in the contest. The Rangers were the road team in each of their two outdoor games at Yankee Stadium in 2014.
Unfortunately, the timing of the announcement is not great, as the Rangers are in the middle of a do-or-die Game Six match-up with the Ottawa Senators and, at the time of this writing, are down 2-0. At least they will have something to look forward to to help get over the (potentially) disappointing loss.