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Mass. Speaker wants annual outdoor Bruins game

NHL.com

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo wants the NHL to bring an outdoor game to Boston every year.

Following the success of last week's 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, DeLeo sent a letter to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, asking him to consider having an outdoor game featuring the Bruins somewhere in the Greater Boston area each year.

"For the NHL, maintaining a permanent outdoor presence in Boston could help to both solidify the league's base in our area and help ensure a healthy future for the game," DeLeo wrote in the letter. "It is my hope that this event can be recreated -- even if not on New Year's Day, of course -- in the years ahead. As last week's game showed, fans in Boston -- the ‘Hub of Hockey' and the best sports town in America -- are eager to support an outdoor hockey game year after year."

A sellout crowd of 38,112 watched as the Bruins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime at the third annual Winter Classic -- a game that was played on an outdoor rink inside Fenway Park on New Year's Day.

The Winter Classic, along with a celebrity and Bruins legends game the next day, corporate events at the rink and a college hockey doubleheader scheduled for Friday night, are credited with giving a boost to local restaurants and other are businesses during a slow time of the year.

"Obviously, this year's Winter Classic was a boon to our local economy as (Commissioner Bettman) stated in interviews prior to the contest," DeLeo wrote. "This unexpected restaurant and hotel revenue served as a shot in the arm at a time our state needs it most."