As NBC Sports Network makes its debut today coinciding with today's outdoor game between the Rangers and Flyers, many NHL fans and teams alike will look on in anticipation. Last season, the 2011 Heritage Classic, the less-hyped but just as exciting matchup was between the Canadiens and Flames. The Flnmes emerged victorious by a count of 4-0, and that was the last that we've seen of the Heritage Classic. In the offseason, the NHL canned the Heritage Classic, saying that it would not occur in the 2011-12 season. This means that the first outdoor game of the season will also be the final outdoor game of the season. I for one believe that this is a shame, and that the Heritage Classic should be brought back in 2013. More after the jump.
The Jets have enjoyed a surprising and successful first calendar year back in Winnipeg, breathing down the Panthers neck in the standings as this is being written. Having the Heritage Classic return and having it feature the team that only recently returned to Canada would bring the revival of the Jets full circle. Last season the game was played at McMahon Stadium in Calgary; Winnipeg has just the venue for such an event. Investor's Group Stadium, the almost completed stadium which will be home to the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers, would be the ideal site because it provides publicity for the new stadium while keeping the Jets close to home. So come on NHL, make it happen: bring back the Heritage Classic and throw a bone to the Jets and their faithful.