BUFFALO – The National Hockey League today announced the following weather-related contingency plans for the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic:
All weather-related game determinations will be within the sole discretion of the Commissioner, subject to input from Game Officials, Hockey Operations personnel, representatives of the National Hockey League Players’ Association, review of relevant weather forecast information and all other information as the Commissioner may determine appropriate.
Once the game has been started, it may be subject to one or more temporary stoppages due to unplayable weather conditions, at the discretion of the Commissioner.
Period and game format may be reconfigured to accommodate temporary stoppages as determined appropriate by the Commissioner.
If the game is started, then stopped due to unplayable weather conditions and cannot be resumed, it will be deemed "official" once 40 full minutes have been played. The team leading at the time play is discontinued permanently will be declared the winner and will be awarded two points in the standings.
If the game is tied at the time play is discontinued permanently, any time after the 40-minute mark, each team will be awarded one point in the standings, with an opportunity to earn an additional point in a standard shootout format.
If weather conditions permit, the shootout will be conducted at Ralph Wilson Stadium immediately after regulation play has been stopped. If weather conditions make it impossible to conduct a shootout safely at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the shootout will be conducted Sunday, February 17, prior to the regularly scheduled Pittsburgh-Buffalo game at HSBC Arena.
If the game is started, is stopped due to unplayable weather conditions, and cannot be restarted, and fewer than 40 minutes of regular time has been played, the game will be officially "postponed" and, if possible, will be played in its entirety at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Wednesday night, January 2, beginning at 7 pm. If the game cannot be replayed at Ralph Wilson Stadium on January 2, it will be rescheduled at HSBC Arena for a date to be determined later in the season.
I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.
— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic