(Photo: St. Louis Blues)
Its behind-the-scenes perspective will be covered starting Dec. 16 with the EPIX “Road to…” series, which this year as “Road to the NHL Outdoor Classics,”will document both the Jan. 1 Detroit Red Wings versus Toronto Maple Leafs at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium for the Centennial Classic as well as the Blackhawks-Blues events in St. Louis.
“Just as the NHL Winter Classic has become a New Year’s tradition and annual high point of our season, the Road To series has become appointment viewing for sports fans each December,” Steve Mayer, NHL Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer said in a media release. “This year, the series takes it to another level, chronicling four teams instead of two as they prepare for and compete in both the NHL Winter Classic and the NHL Centennial Classic. We are looking forward to another exciting edition of the series with producer Ross Greenburg and his team, our partner, EPIX, and most important, our clubs and the best athletes in all of pro sports, who provide amazing access.”
EPIX PRESENTS ROAD TO THE NHL OUTDOOR CLASSICS schedule:
- Premiere, 10 p.m. ET/PT, 9 p.m. CT on Wed., Dec. 16
- Episode 2, 10 p.m. ET/PT, 9 p.m. CT on Wed., Dec. 23 (repeat at the same time Dec. 24)
- Episode 3, 10 p.m. ET/PT, 9 p.m. CT on Wed., Dec 30
- Finale, 10 p.m. ET/PT, 9 p.m. CT on Wed., Jan. 6
This year’s EPIX premiere is one day before the Blues host the Hawks for their final indoor meeting of 2016, with Episode 3 hitting the night before the Blues-Hawks alumni game.
“We are honored to host the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Busch Stadium,” Blues Chairman Tom Stillman said in a media release. “Along with the St. Louis Cardinals, our organization, and our great fans are excited to showcase the city of St. Louis and our storied rivalry with the Blackhawks at such an iconic venue.”
As the annual outing approaches, the Hawks (17-8-3) and Blues (14-7-4) are leading the Central division in first and second place, respectively.
So far this season, the Hawks lost to the Blues 5-2 on Oct. 12 and won 2-1 in overtime Nov. 9.
This is the Blues’ 50th season in the NHL. Their Winter Classic uniforms are an homage to the early gear.
“In celebration of our 50th Anniversary, we are proud to pay tribute to our original uniforms and the franchise pioneers who first wore them in 1967,” Stillman said in a media release.
(Photo: Sports Logo)
The gear features historically-accurate fonts and team striping, a ribbed crewneck collar, the vintage blue color and the original Blue Note crest from the first season, the press release said. Sadly, it’s lacking in the shiny pants.
But, regardless of game outcomes, the Blues have Chicago beat in new sweaters for the event.
The Blackhawks also turned back time to the ’60s for their ensemble.
(Photo: Sports Logo)
Notes: Visit EPIX for information on viewing the Road To series.
Speaking of going back in time, an alumni game is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT Dec. 31.
Legends and alumni from both teams will face off for an outdoor exhibition game consisting of three 20-minute periods with 12-minute intermissions.
The Blackhawks’ alumni roster includes:
Former captain Adrian Aucoin, Murray Bannerman, Adam Burish, Kyle Calder, Daniel Carcillo, Jim Cummins, Eric Daze, Ben Eager, Reggie Kerr, Steve Konroyd, Dave Mackey, Jamal Mayers, Grant Mulvey, Troy Murray, Brian Noonan, Jack O’Callahan, Darren Pang, Steve Poapst, Reid Simpson, Brent Sopel, Gary Suter, and Jimmy Waite.
They’ll play against esteemed Blues Alumni including The Great One Wayne Gretzky.
Also rostered are Bruce Affleck, Martin Brodeur, Jeff Brown, Garth Butcher, Gino Cavallini, Paul Cavallini, Kelly Chase, Dallas Drake, Bernie Federko, Brett Hull, Barret Jackman, Mike Liut, Al MacInnis, Chris Mason, Scott Mellanby, Adam Oates, Larry Patey, Chris Pronger, Jamie Rivers, Bryce Salvador, Ed Staniowski, Peter Stastny, Keith Tkachuk, Pierre Turgeon, Terry Yake, and Scott Young.
The alumni game will be followed by a day off in St. Louis as teams face off in Toronto.
The Winter Classic
And then, the puck will drop at noon CT Jan. 2 for the Blues’ inaugural outdoor game. They’ll be the 23rd team in the league to participate in an outdoor game.
Busch Field, a 46,000 seat stadium and home of St. Louis Cardinals baseball was built in 2006 and has hosted the MLB All-Star Game as well as three World Series Runs.
“The Blues and Blackhawks have enjoyed a strong rivalry over the years, highlighted by some incredible players,” Joe Reekie, NHLPA Divisional Player Representative, said in a media release. “With the talent on both curren rosters, having these two teams face off in the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will make for a special event for both players and Blues fans who have been waiting for this signature event to come to St. Louis.”
Chicago’s first outdoor game appearance was the 2009 Winter Classic against the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field. The Blackhawks lost 6-4. In 2014, Chicago won a Stadium Series matchup 5-1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Chicago’s Soldier Field. In 2015, the Washington Capitals beat the Hawks 3-2 at Nationals Park for the Winter Classic. In another Stadium Series in 2016, the Hawks fell to the Minnesota Wild 6-1 at TCF Field.
“The Chicago Blackhawks organization and our loyal fans are very excited to be participating in another marquee event hosted by the National Hockey League,” Blackhawks President and CEO John McDonough said in a media release. “With a strong and healthy rivalry already in place between the Blues and Blackhawks, sports fans across the country will be treated to an exciting game featuring some of the brightest stars in the league. We would also like to thank the St. Louis Cardinals and the City of St. Louis for their hospitality in hosting what has become a great tradition for our sport.”
The Winter Classic will be televised live at Noon CT on NBC, Sportsnet, and TVA Sports.
The Pink Puck will be there live with news and updates.