Kevin Weekes is such a huge fan of the NHL’s outdoor games that the former goaltender has become the NHL Network and the ESPN analyst would love to see more, in North America and abroad.
âI’m always excited about these because they’re shows and I think the more you can have, the better for our league,â Weekes said on the NHL @TheRink podcast on Tuesday. “It amplifies the game, the markets, the fans, the coverage. He’s definitely able to put them on the right stage and put our players on stages where the world is watching, everyone in the world.”
Weekes said he was particularly interested in the upcoming Discover NHL 2022 Winter Classic between the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues at Target Field in Minneapolis on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; TNT, SN1, TVAS, NHL LIVE) in because of the place and the teams. inside.
The Wild (19-9-2) lead the Central Division with 40 points, one point ahead of the Blues (17-9-5), who are tied for second with the Nashville Predators.
âThe fact that it’s two rivals in the Central Division who are very united, I think it will be great,â Weekes said.
Weekes said he hears from friends of his in Germany, Switzerland and Russia who are eager to tune in and watch the game to see the Winter Classic show and watch players like the Blues on the way. Vladimir Tarasenko and wild forward Kirill Kaprizov.
âYou get texts from these guys, from these people all over the world playing, from this coach, who are in the game, they’re excited,â Weekes said. âThat means it’s yeah, Minnesota, yeah, St. Louis, but it’s really the global impact, the fact that the game is on such a big stage and our players are too. I’d love to see more. “
Weekes said he spoke to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and other executives about expanding the outdoor gaming experience into European markets, using some of the famous venues built for teams from legendary football.
âStadium Series Europe,â Weekes said. âYou’re going to have this at Target Field, Minny, land of 10,000 lakes, an amazing, super vibrant hockey market, but why can’t you have it at the stadium where Bayern Munich are playing in Germany? You don’t have it is Old Trafford where Manchester United play or Etihad Stadium where Manchester City play? Hey, I’m flying from Newark or JFK or LaGuardia to go. And imagine your fans in Switzerland, Russia , in Germany and the rest of the world to have the opportunity to see this type of crowned jewel across the pond. There is a huge opportunity for growth there. “
“I would love to see more of these games just because you can bring a unique experience to more fans and players can have a unique experience.”
Weekes also spoke with co-hosts Dan Rosen and Shawn P. Roarke about the sustainability of the Nashville Predators and New York Rangers, and why he admires former Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice so much.
Additionally, Rosen and Roarke opened up about intrigues to watch out for with the NHL coming out of its extended six-day vacation, including center Brayden PointTampa Bay Lightning roster immediately returns, center Evgeni malkins imminent return to the Pittsburgh Penguins roster; and the Vancouver Canucks’ viability as Stanley Cup playoff contenders.
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