Penguins, Flyers set to mix it up in games outdoors
TAMPA, Fla. — The Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers are set to play an outdoor game at Heinz Field next season, a source familiar with the NHL's plans said Friday.
Some details need to be ironed out, but the game is expected to be part of the league's Stadium Series later in the winter, rather than the Winter Classic on or around Jan. 1, because of potential schedule conflicts with the Steelers.
The Penguins will return the favor and play an outdoor game in Philadelphia in “a couple of years.”
Plans to have the Penguins and Flyers play a neutral-site game at Penn State's Beaver Stadium fell apart when the teams found the idea to be too cost prohibitive, the source said.
The game would be part of a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the NHL's 1967 expansion, which saw the Penguins and Flyers enter the league as part of a six-team class.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to host the Winter Classic as part of a celebration of the club's 100th anniversary.
A Penguins spokesman declined comment.
Heinz Field would be the first venue to host a second outdoor game. The Penguins played the Washington Capitals in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2011.
The Penguins were the visiting team in a pair of outdoor games: the Winter Classic against the Buffalo Sabres on Jan. 1, 2008, at Ralph Wilson Stadium, and a Stadium Series matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks on March 1, 2014, at Soldier Field.
Philadelphia hosted the Winter Classic in 2012, with the Flyers playing the New York Rangers at Citizens Bank Park.
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @BombulieTrib.