Blackhawks to host Penguins at Soldier Field next season
BY MARK LAZERUS email@example.com April 16, 2013 8:40PM
Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville speaks during a meet and greet event for the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program and the Chicago Blackhawks at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill., on Saturday, February 16, 2013. Members of the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program, who are veterans or active duty personnel who have been wounded, took to the ice with the Blackhawks and had a chance to meet the players. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 17, 2013 12:18PM
The Blackhawks held a workout at frigid Soldier Field on Feb. 16, skating with disabled veterans. Winger Patrick Sharp looked around at the cavernous stadium and wondered what it would be like to play an actual game there.
‘‘Pretty cool atmosphere here,’’ he said. ‘‘It’d be great with a ton of people.’’
Sharp will get a chance to find out next season. The Hawks will host the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 1 at Soldier Field, a source said. An ESPN.com report said the NHL will host a series of six outdoor games next season, including the already-announced Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs on New Year’s Day at Michigan Stadium.
The report said two games — New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers and New York Islanders vs. Rangers — will be held at Yankee Stadium during the week leading up to the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium. Also on the schedule are Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings on Jan. 25 at Dodger Stadium and Vancouver Canucks vs. Ottawa Senators at B.C. Place in Vancouver the day after the Penguins-Hawks game.
The frigid workout at Soldier Field brought back memories of the 2009 Winter Classic for the Hawks, who hosted the Red Wings at Wrigley Field.
‘‘That was the coolest experience in my hockey career, playing or coaching,’’ coach Joel Quenneville said.
Quenneville said he would love to do it again but was wary of diluting the event with multiple games each season.
‘‘It’s a special event, so it keeps it special with the one,’’ he said. ‘‘But hopefully one day.’’