For a full decade now, the Flyers/Penguins rivalry has been can’t-miss hockey. From Sidney Crosby’s debut at the Wells Fargo Center through two playoff series and the Flyers’ recent successes at CONSOL Energy Center, just about every game catches the attention of the hockey world when it arrives on the calendar.
Next year, one of the meetings will be of even more significance. The NHL announced Wednesday night that the Penguins will host the Flyers in a Stadium Series game in Pittsburgh on Saturday, February 25, 2017. It will be part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations for both clubs, which came into the league together back in 1967. It’ll be the third outdoor game for the Flyers and their first since hosting the 2012 Winter Classic against the New York Rangers.
“I was fortunate enough to be at the Winter Classic here in Philly,” said Flyers general manager Ron Hextall. “They’re exciting. I think anyone – it’s funny, even in my position, if there’s an outdoor game, you tend to want to watch it. I think it’s great.”
The Flyers were pretty excited upon hearing the news Wednesday, as word leaked out ahead of the NHL announcement.
“The first one I played in was against the Rangers,” said Wayne Simmonds, who joined the Flyers along with Brayden Schenn and Jake Voracek the summer before that Winter Classic. “To play Pittsburgh, another huge rival of ours – that would be unbelievable too.”
It would be the first experience for several other Flyers, including Steve Mason, who didn’t join the Flyers until a year after the Rangers game.
“I think it’d be a really neat experience,” Mason said. It’s something I’ve never been a part of. Growing up in Canada you play on the outdoor ponds and that’s always fun. To potentially have a chance to do that in the NHL would be pretty cool.”
Dave Hakstol, however, does have outdoor experience. His North Dakota team took a 5-2 win over the University of Nebraska-Omaha back in February 2013 in a game played at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, the home of the College World Series.
“It was a tremendous experience,” Hakstol said. “There’s a lot of different elements and things that are in play during an outdoor game. It’s a neat experience and a cool game to be a part of.”
Granted, the Flyers won’t have their CONSOL-ice advantage. But they’ll definitely enjoy the spectacle and experience of an outdoor game as they gun for their first outdoor win.
2016-17 Full Season Ticket Members will have an opportunity to purchase tickets to the 2017 Coors Light Stadium Series™Game in Pittsburgh. Click the button below to reserve your seats now or call 215-218-PUCK.