The game had added intrigue when it was announced before the opening faceoff that the Flames had signed restricted free agent Ryan O'Reilly to an offer sheet. While Calgary was taking a 2-0 lead early in the first period, the Avalanche announced they had matched the offer and were keeping the 22-year-old forward.
TSN in Canada reported the deal was for $10 million over two years, including a $2 million signing bonus.
I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.
— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh