It’s official: The Blackhawks are headed back outdoors.
The NHL announced that the 2019 Winter Classic will be held at Notre Dame Stadium, featuring the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins on Jan. 1.
"The Blackhawks and Bruins, two of our most historic franchises, will be meeting outdoors for the first time at the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "Notre Dame Stadium, with its capacity approaching 80,000, will provide an ideal setting for this ground-breaking event and will host the largest live audience ever to witness a game by either of these teams."
"The Chicago Blackhawks are honored to be participating in this marquee event at an iconic venue like Notre Dame Stadium," Blackhawks President & CEO John McDonough said in a statement. "The University of Notre Dame has strong alumni roots in both Chicago and Boston, and, with an established rivalry between the Blackhawks and Bruins, fans will be treated to an exciting game in a unique atmosphere. We appreciate the invitation to the game and look forward to what will be a great day for both franchises and the National Hockey League."
It's the sixth time the Blackhawks will be playing outdoors, and their league-leading fourth Winter Classic. The Blackhawks are 1-4-0 in outdoor games, and are winless in three Winter Classic games.
Chicago's only outdoor win came against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2014 Stadium Series Classic, a 5-1 victory at Soldier Field.
The Blackhawks are reportedly headed back to their home away from home: The Great Outdoors.
According to BarstoolChief, the Blackhawks will square off with the Boston Bruins in the 2019 NHL Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium.
An official announcement is expected to be made later this month, per BarstoolChief.
The 2019 Winter Classic will mark the Blackhawks sixth appearance in at outdoor game. The Blackhawks hold a 1-4 record in such games with their last victory coming against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2014 Stadium Series at Soldier Field.
It's no surprise that Notre Dame was chosen as the home site for the 2019 Winter Classic, considering the school's rumored interest and the Blackhawks holding a portion of their training camp in South Bend.
Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick told the Chicago Tribune in 2016 that the University had interest in hosting an NHL game.
"Once the Campus Crossroads project is finished we do anticipate that Notre Dame Stadium will be an excellent venue for more than just Notre Dame football games, but no additional events have yet been scheduled," Swarbrick said. "And while we would certainly have an interest in exploring the possibility of playing host to outdoor hockey games, we have not had any discussions with the NHL about doing so."
The two previous sites for an outdoor game that featured the Blackhawks as a home team were Wrigley Field (2009) and Soldier Field (2014).
On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Bryan Bickell sits down with Pat Boyle and they discuss the retired player's journey to the NHL, which included being an Ottawa clubhouse assistant where he met future teammate, Marian Hossa.
Bickell admits when he finally knew he was a regular in the NHL, his incredible 2013 postseason performance and the historic 17 seconds in Boston.
Finally, Bryan gets emotional when discussing his MS diagnosis, his shootout goal in his final NHL game, and how his wife Amanda has been at his side throughout his entire hockey career.
Listen to the Hawks Talk Podcast below: