Connor Bedard on the ice with the Blackhawks.
Photo credit: CHGO Sports

NHL trying to get Connor Bedard into this special event

Published January 4, 2024 at 2:05 PM
On January 1st, the NHL hosted their annual Winter Classic game, this time hosted by the Seattle Kraken taking on the Vegas Golden Knights. As other sources have stated, this year saw the continuation of a concerning trend for the NHL, as viewership reached a new low for the Winter Classic between the league's two newest teams.

According to insider Elliotte Friedman, the NHL and commissioner Gary Bettman notice the declining views, and have a plan for the next Winter Classic already. The next game will likely feature Connor Bedard and the Chicago Blackhawks. Below is an excerpt from Friedman's latest 32 Thoughts Blog.

Unfortunately, the television numbers weren't high in the United States, currently standing second in 2023-24 to Connor Bedard's Opening Night debut. You think the NHL's unaware of that? The word in Seattle was Bedard's going to be involved next season, and since mentioning that on Monday's pod, its become clear this is Chicago's event to lose.

Clearly, the NHL is looking to make a move away from bestowing each franchise with a designated Winter Classic, and instead trying to make it the marketable event it should be. As one of the league's marquee games of the year, it should show off the best talent and the best teams in the league. Being an Original Six franchise with a large fanbase doesn't hurt either. The one drawback of including the Blackhawks would be the fact that outside Bedard, the team is still truly awful.

Still, it's interesting to find out the NHL's newest plans and the strategy behind the next Winter Classic. Hopefully, this change will bring back the pedigree that used to be associated with the specialty game.
January 4   |   279 answers
NHL trying to get Connor Bedard into this special event

Are the Blackhawks a good pick for the next Winter Classic Host?

Yes, let's see Bedard11139.8 %
No, the team isn't good enough yet13849.5 %
See Results3010.8 %
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