The NHL’s ambitious plan to hold six outdoor games this season got off to a good start Wednesday with a record crowd enduring freezing temperatures at Michigan Stadium. The league has played outdoor games in mixed weather conditions since it started the annual tradition six years ago.
The challenges will be even greater this year with a game in Los Angeles (Ducks-Kings, Jan. 25), two games in four days at Yankee Stadium in late January (Devils-Rangers, Islanders-Rangers), and two contests in early March (Penguins-Blackhawks in Chicago and Senators-Canucks in Vancouver).
A look at the weather from the NHL’s last six games at outdoor venues:
2003 Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton; Canadiens 4, Oilers 3; -20 degrees, clear
2008 Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, N.Y.; Penguins 2, Sabres 1 (SO); 30 degrees, snow
2009 Wrigley Field, Chicago; Red Wings 6, Blackhawks 4; 32 degrees, clear
2010 Fenway Park, Boston; Bruins 2, Flyers 1 (OT); 38 degrees, cloudy
2011 Heinz Field, Pittsburgh; Capitals 3, Penguins 1; 52 degrees, rain
2011 McMahon Stadium, Calgary; Flames 4, Canadiens 0; 16 degrees, clear
2012 Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia; Rangers 3, Flyers 2; 41 degrees, overcast