The NHL’s 2021 Winter Classic was scheduled for Target Field in Minneapolis (home of the Twins) on the traditional Jan. 1 date, but it was postponed (along with the NHL All-Star Game in Sunrise, Florida) thanks to COVID-19 adjustments to the season (which only started on Jan. 13, as it turned out). Target Field is now going to host the same game, with the same matchup (the hometown Wild hosting the St. Louis Blues) on Jan. 1, 2022, as per an announcement from the league Monday:
The 2022 NHL Winter Classic® will feature the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild at the home of the Minnesota Twins, Target Field, in Minneapolis, Minn., on Jan. 1, 2022. The outdoor game, originally scheduled for New Year’s Day 2021, will mark the second NHL regular-season outdoor game for both the Blues and the Wild. The game continues the tradition the League established in 2008 of hosting a regular-season outdoor game at the onset of the new year, with the 2022 edition marking the 14-year anniversary of the first NHL Winter Classic® in Buffalo.
Meanwhile, the 2022 All-Star Game will not be going to Florida; it will be in Las Vegas, hosted by the Vegas Golden Knights. There are no confirmed dates for that yet. But that release also has dates for the NHL’s return to the Stadium Series (non-Winter Classic outdoor games), which will see the Nashville Predators hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning next February:
The 2022 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series™ will visit the home of the Tennessee Titans, Nissan Stadium, in Nashville, Tenn., where the Nashville Predators will play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 26, 2022. It will be the second regular-season outdoor game for the Predators and first such game for the Lightning, who will become the 27th NHL team to participate in a regular-season outdoor game.
It’s unclear at this point which of the NHL’s new U.S. broadcast partners (ESPN and Turner Sports) will carry the Stadium Series game. We do know that ESPN has the All-Star Game, as that was mentioned in their release on their new deal, and we know that Turner will have the Winter Classic, as that was mentioned in their release. The ESPN deal did mention “other NHL special events each season,” so they would seem the likely bet here, but the NHL release here just listed off their TV partners (Sportsnet and French-language TVA in Canada, ESPN and Turner in the U.S.) without spelling out who has what. At any rate, it’s certainly notable to have confirmation of next year’s Winter Classic, and news of a Stadium Series game next year.