League considering 'semi-regular' Winter Classic

TERRY JONES, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:28 AM ET

BUFFALO -- It's called the NHL Winter Classic. And it may become a staple on the NHL schedule.

Bill Daly won't go so far as to say a success with the first outdoor NHL game in the U.S., and only the second since the Heritage Classic in 2003 in Edmonton, would make it an annual event.

"It's something we're going to look at doing more of," said the NHL's deputy commissioner.

"I wouldn't say we'd do an outdoor game every year. But it could become a semi-regular event. It's a little early to make those predictions. But it's a pretty interesting event.

"Already it's been very successful in terms of ticket sales and the excitement you see in Buffalo and in the United States and Canada," he said of the game the league basically bought from the Sabres to produce themselves.

"We want to do more of building league platforms," he said of events like this and the pair of season-opening games between the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings in London, England.

"It adds a buzz around the league and the sport. Sponsors get excited."

Daly, who was speaking via conference call at an on-site press conference at Ralph Wilson Stadium yesterday, said all signs point to a success.

"The people on-site have done an amazing job and we're keeping our fingers crossed that we're going to have pretty good weather."

The weather looks like it's going to be ideal for the event which will put 70,000 or so people in the stands.

There hasn't been a January game in the stadium since 1997 when the Bills last played host to an NFL playoff game.


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