Philadelphia Flyers center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare is playing in his first NHL outdoor game, the 2017 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Heinz Field on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports 2, NHL.TV). Bellemare, 31, has six points in 60 games this season. In his first entry on the Stadium Series, Bellemare talks about his previous outdoor game experience and more.
PHILADELPHIA -- We still have a couple of days but I'm already pretty excited to get to Pittsburgh for the Stadium Series game on Saturday.
I've played outside before, but nothing like what it will be like in Pittsburgh.
In 2013-14, my last season in Sweden, I was with Skelleftea when we played against Frolunda at the soccer stadium in Gothenburg, Gamla Ullevi. That was different. It was raining almost the entire game, we had to delay it for an hour and a half. And they didn't fill the entire stadium, they just had sides for each fan base, like a soccer game. It was really fun. Was a great life experience but a different kind of game.
Video: Stadium Series showdown in Pittsburgh
Obviously playing outdoors in the NHL will be very different. I asked a few guys about what their experience was like and the main thing that comes back from them is that it was amazing, a great experience.
I'm looking forward to the family skate after practice Friday. My wife, Hannah, is going to be there, and I flew my mom, Frederique, in from France. This is a once in a lifetime experience so she's going to be there with me, probably going to skate a little.
Then walking out of the tunnel Saturday, that's going to be pretty amazing. I've seen the video of other games with the walk-in and everything so I know how cool it can be.
For me, I never thought I'd make it to the NHL, so every game is the most fun game I've played in, the highest level I've ever played. But now you go from 20,000 in the arena to 65,000 people outdoors, two teams that have this rivalry, that cannot be more fun. Besides the Stanley Cup Playoffs, or a playoff game outdoors, that would be the ultimate. Otherwise, in an NHL season, this is the biggest thing I can do.