The NHL has announced their outdoor games for 2021-22, and the Pittsburgh Penguins won’t be involved in any of them.
The traditional January 1st Winter Classic game will be in Minnesota and feature the Wild against the St. Louis Blues from Target Field (home of the Twins).
The last planned Stadium Series game was originally in Carolina, but COVID happened. The league and the Hurricanes have come to an agreement to still hold an outdoor game in the Raleigh area, but it won’t this season.
Statement from #Canes President & General Manager Don Waddell on a future outdoor game at Carter-Finley Stadium. pic.twitter.com/hgWE6x4X7W— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) June 29, 2021
The Penguins were initially chosen to be Carolina’s opponent for the cancelled-2021 game. It has not yet been announced exactly when or who the ‘Canes will be playing when they finally get their outdoor game (even though they already apparently already have the jersey) so we’ll just have to see if the Pens’ invitation will still come through after all.
Ironically enough, the 2022 Stadium Series game will stay in the south, being played in Nashville, as they will host the Tampa Bay Lightning. Nashville and Carolina have had some social media beef and jokes at each other’s expense so it wouldn’t be too surprising if the folks in Tennessee pointed out how they were able to skip over Carolina.
The NHL isn’t committal just yet but may hold a third game in Canada, presumably featuring two Canadian teams.
Back in America, it’s interesting and probably no coincidence that the four teams playing outdoors next season are ones typically not featured. You’ve got Minnesota, St. Louis, Nashville and Tampa. That probably brings a tick to the face of the NHL’s former broadcast partner in NBC whose network featured with overkill markets like Pittsburgh, Chicago, Boston and New York in these events. Nice to see the NHL spread it around a little more next season.