After bringing its Stadium Series to puck hotbeds like … checks notes … Nashville, Raleigh and Santa Clara, the NHL will finally set up shop at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.
The Devils, Islanders and Rangers will all be there. People seem excited. Me? Eh.
Hot take: NHL outdoor games have become like interleague play in baseball and conference realignment in college football. It was cool at first. Now it’s aggravating and overdone.
UCLA and USC should not be in the Big Ten. I do not need to see Yankees-Rockies and Mets-Tigers. And inevitably putting a big piece of ice down in Houston after the Coyotes move there defeats the damn purpose. There should be a 10-year moratorium on all outdoor games. I know we don’t do regular season hockey here, but still.
Anyway, MetLife Stadium has been pushing for the Stadium Series for a while. And the Devils figure to be over the moon about getting an outdoor home game on Garden State soil. But we are a bit intrigued to see what it will look like.
You expect a big crowd for both, but the building holds 82,500 and having back-to-back games (and the New York teams confined to one of them) seems less than conducive to generating back-to-back big gates. The NHL had better hope the Flyers suck a little less so the Philadelphians travel en masse. And if that happens, they might need an auxiliary drunk tank at the stadium.
The metropolitan area did the outdoor hockey thing back in 2014, when the Rangers played a pair of games against the Devils and Isles at Yankee Stadium (those were three days apart). The Blueshirts were the road team both times since their Madison Square Garden lease does not allow them to give up a home game. And they’ll be the road team against the Isles in the Meadowlands, too.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.