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."