The NHL’s annual Winter Classic will take place Saturday when the Minnesota Wild host the visiting St. Louis Blues at Target Field, home of MLB’s Minnesota Twins. The league experienced challenges staging last year’s outdoor event with play suspended several hours by unseasonably warm weather in Lake Tahoe. That won’t be an issue this time around with Saturday’s forecast calling for sub-freezing temperatures in Minneapolis. Weather.com is expecting a high of -5 with a low temperature of -18 Saturday night.
NHL chief content officer Steve Mayer remains “confident” the game will be played despite severe cold that could make for an unpleasant spectator experience. “As with any [outdoor] game, we're monitoring the weather, and we'll make decisions that are in the interest of our players and our fans,” Mayer relayed in a statement Tuesday night. “As of right now, we are confident the game will go on as planned."
If the forecast holds, Saturday would be the coldest game in NHL history, topping the previous mark set in 2003 when the temperature fell to zero degrees for an outdoor game in Edmonton between the Canadiens and Oilers. The Wild are hoping to get this game in after last year’s Winter Classic, also scheduled for New Year’s Day at Target Field, was postponed due to COVID. Minnesota will be making its Winter Classic debut while St. Louis will be appearing for the second time after hosting the rival Blackhawks at Busch Stadium in 2017. Coverage for Saturday’s game will begin at 7 PM ET on TNT.