Blackhawks, Blues announce details for 2017 Winter Classic

Blackhawks, Blues announce details for 2017 Winter Classic

By: Brenna Carberry 

As if the Chicago-St. Louis rivalry isn't intense enough already at this time of year - think Cubs-Cardinals - the Blackhawks and Blues are already gearing up for their Winter Classic battle in January.

Representatives from the National Hockey League, Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues gathered Tuesday at Busch Stadium to detail plans for the 2017 NHL Winter Classic, which will take place on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. 

“With a strong and healthy rivalry already in place between the Blues and Blackhawks, sports fans across the country will be treated to an exciting game featuring some of the brightest stars in the League," said Blackhawks President and CEO John McDonough.

The Blackhawks-Blues rivalry has been in place for quite some time, but it really picked up steam last year when St. Louis eliminated Chicago from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Now the archrivals will take their historic rivalry outside in an iconic ballpark that is sure to have a playoff atmosphere. 

This year's Winter Classic will mark the NHL-high third Winter Classic appearance and fifth overall outdoor game for the Blackhawks organization. It will also mark the first time the Blues will host the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and the first-ever regular-season outdoor game for the Club.

Additionally, it was announced Tuesday that legendary players from both the Blues and Blackhawks organizations will participate in a special alumni game at Busch Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2016, two days prior to the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. Fan-favorites will return to the ice to represent these organizations one more time and renew this great NHL rivalry.

Information on an exclusive ticket pre-sale for Blues season-ticket holders was released earlier today, while information on ticket sales for Blackhawks and Cardinals season-ticket holders will be sent to those groups by each team in the coming weeks. Information regarding ticket availability for the general public will be released at a later date.

Stay tuned for more information on the Winter Classic, including the unveiling of the jerseys that will be worn by the Blackhawks when they take the ice at Busch Stadium on January 2.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?


Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here: