The Winter Classic is returning to Fenway Park in 2023, the National Hockey League announced on Friday. The league’s signature outdoor showcase will be hosted by the Boston Bruins, though who they will be playing has yet to be revealed.
In addition to an opponent for the Bruins, a date and time for the game has not been announced, either. The Winter Classic is typically played on the afternoon of New Year’s Day, which falls on a Sunday next January.
With that being said, it’s possible the regular season contest is moved back to New Year’s Eve so that it may be played on a Saturday. As previously stated, the details still need to be hashed out.
For the Bruins, this will mark the third time they have hosted a Winter Classic and the fifth time they have played outdoors overall.
On Jan. 1, 2010, the Bruins bested the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1, in overtime while playing in front of 38,112 at Fenway for the first time. Marco Strum was responsible for the game-winner.
Six years later, the B’s faced off against the rival Montreal Canadiens at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. With 67,246 spectators on hand there, Boston fell to Montreal, 5-1.
To kick off 2019, the Bruins traveled to South Bend, Ind. to take on the Chicago Blackhawks inside historic Notre Dame Stadium. Powered by a two-goal third period, Boston came out on top against Chicago, 4-2, in front of a crowd of 76,126.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic last February, the Bruins once again took on the Flyers in Lake Tahoe, Nev. With no fans in attendance, Boston trounced Philadelphia, 7-3, behind a David Pastrnak hat trick.
So, all-time, the Bruins are 3-1-0 in outdoor games. Their most common opponent to date has been the Flyers. But, as noted by MassLive.com’s Matt Vautour, there’s a good chance the B’s could be taking on the Pittsburgh Penguins at Fenway next season since the John Henry-led Fenway Sports group recently purchased the team.
As for Fenway Park itself, the iconic ballpark is no stranger to hosting hockey games and other winter events. Frozen Fenway, which has pitted some of New England’s top college hockey programs against one another over the years, is a prime example of this.
(Picture of Fenway Park: Elsa/Getty Images)