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Winter Classic draws most American TV viewers for NHL game since 1975

Monday, 01.12.2009 / 3:08 PM / News

The Canadian Press

NEW YORK - The Winter Classic drew the biggest American television audience for a regular-season NHL game in nearly 34 years.

The Detroit Red Wings' 6-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at Wrigley Field on New Year's Day attracted an average of 4.4 million U.S. viewers on NBC, the network said Monday.

That's the most since a Philadelphia Flyers-New York Rangers game on Feb. 23, 1975, according to Nielsen Media Research.

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When we started our journey we made a commitment to our fans to be relevant and to see the Chicago Blackhawks become the best professional hockey organization. There are not two finer symbols of that than Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The commitment we have made to these incredible young men is equal to the commitment they have made to our team, our fans, our entire organization and the city of Chicago.

— Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz on signing Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to contract extensions