The outdoors are great, but this should not become a regular NHL fixture
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- No matter how much of this snowy, boisterous outdoor affair worked, no matter what great pictures the 2008 Winter Classic made and how much fun the sellout crowd of 71,217 had, the significant warts that appeared throughout the game should give the NHL serious pause before it journeys down this road again.
The question is whether a league that repeatedly has confused "cash grab" with "way of life" can restrain itself long enough to make the right decisions.
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THE WINTER CLASSIC
The NHL hosted the first regular-season outdoor game in the United States on Jan. 1, 2008 as the Penguins and Sabres squared off at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, N.Y.
GAME DAY• Recap: Crosby's SO winner caps magic day
• Burnside: This should not be regular NHL event
• Burnside: Grading the Winter Classic
• ZOOM: Photos from Ralph Wilson Stadium
• In-game blog
• Outdoor game brings out tailgaters
• Winter Classic highlights
NEWS• Winter Classic draws big TV numbers
• Slight rule changes for outdoor game
ANALYSIS• Burnside: Players embrace outdoors atmosphere
• Faceoff: Gimmick or celebration of heritage?
• Burnside: The man behind the outdoor magic
• Burnside: This time, more at risk for NHL
WATCH• Hradek: A preview of The Winter Classic
• Melrose: Why Winter Classic is a good thing