Yesterday the NHL staged its 6th annual Winter Classic at The Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan. All those in attendance witnessed a tight game. Although neither goalie had to work much. There were 0 shots on goal. Despite the defensive nature of the contest, it was clean. There were no penalties issued.
The real winner was the NHL and the game of Hockey. Every person who went to the game had an experience to share and fondly remember. All the fans who participated at events at Comerica Park also had a good time, and will associate the NHL and hockey with fun and enjoyment.
The NHL finally figured out how to put on a good show. When the first Winter Classic was played in 2008, the League had no idea how important of an event it would be. And it's a decent TV draw. On a day when many people stay at home and watch television with friends and family.
The Winter Classic is part of the Hockey Fan Experience. From the fans who go to the game, to those who watch it on TV. It's become a vital event for the game and for the NHL.
And if the NHL ever grows a brain, or a new league replaces it, they should do everything in their power to avoid cancelling any and all future Winter Classics.