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Sabres vs. Rangers In 2018 Winter Classic?

NHL Winter Classic: Pittsburgh Penguins v Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins played in the first Winter Classic in 2008 (Getty Images)

Reports out of New York City in Newsday say the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers are penciled in to meet in the 10th annual Winter Classic on January 1st, 2018.  The game would be played at Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets in Queens.

The Sabres would be designated as the home team because of tax implications regarding the Rangers and Madison Square Garden.  That would mean the Sabres would play only 40 home games at KeyBank Center during the 2017-18 season.

The Sabres and PIttsburgh Penguins played the first Winter Classic at the then-named Ralph Wilson Stadium on January 1st, 2008.  Sidney Crosby scored the game-winning goal in a shoot out and the Sabres haven’t played an outdoor game since.  But the team has let it be known since then that they’d love to be involved in another one and a 10th anniversary game would be perfect.

Nothing is set in stone.  The NHL won’t make it official until this summer.

The reason the game would be played in New York City is because New Era Field won’t be available on January 1st, 2018.  That’s because the stadium is hosting a game between Team USA and Team Canada during the World Junior Championships.  That game will be played on December 29th, two days before and team officials say that’s not enough time to prepare the stadium for two massive crowds.

In the meantime, mark your calendars for New Year’s Day next year for what looks to be a pretty good bet that the Sabres will be playing outdoors.

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