Canada versus U.S.A. on an outdoor rink in Buffalo in December for a world junior hockey championship game is either the greatest idea … or the worst.
Plenty of hockey fans think imperfect conditions will hurt the potential beauty of an important game. They’re disregarding the unusual viewing enjoyment of an NFL game played earlier this season during a heavy snowfall in Buffalo, or the memorable Grey Cup game played on a snowy field in Ottawa.
Hockey can also survive non-pristine conditions. Most of these players grew up on outdoor rinks, so it’s a throwback. Nostalgia. Cold weather, snow, rain or sunshine notwithstanding.
It costs millions to set up a major, outdoor hockey game. The Regina Pats have discovered that for their upcoming series in February. And the New York Rangers are holding an outdoor game Monday against the visiting Buffalo Sabres. Logistically, it would have made more sense for those teams to meet outdoors in Buffalo. That would have been cheaper. And smarter.