When it was announced that the Minnesota Wild would host the 2021 Bridgestone Winter Classic, there was some speculation as to what team would be their opponent. Chicago? They’ve played in so many outdoor games that their own players are burnt out. Winnipeg? The only Canadian team that NBC and the NHL would dare to be part of the Winter Classic are the Maple Leafs. Dallas? How would you work the alumni game?
The St. Louis Blues were the next best choice to play spoiler. St. Louis always ranks as one of the top markets in any NHL event broadcast by NBC and NBC Sports, the team just won the Stanley Cup, and they have players such as Vladimir Tarasenko and (hopefully) Alex Pietrangelo to draw the eyes of casual fans.
The Blues successfully hosted the 2017 Winter Classic against the Chicago Blackhawks, and it more than likely served as the catalyst for the Blues getting the All-Star game this year. The team and the NHL have a solid working relationship right now, so why not get them in the Winter Classic?
The two teams will face off at Target Field on January 1st for a Winter Classic with almost guaranteed snow and frigid temperatures. Perfect.