NHL final blog photo Blake Coleman

Blake Coleman wrote a blog for NHL.com as the Calgary Flames faced the Edmonton Oilers in the 2023 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton on Sunday.

In his final entry, the forward discusses sharing the unique experience of an outdoor game with his family, and being thankful for the memorable opportunity despite Calgary’s 5-2 loss.

It wasn't the result we wanted.

But as time goes on, we'll look back on the Heritage Classic with the memories that matter, which is getting to share this with my family and having them in town and being part of something that's pretty unique and special. It's hard to focus on that right now because it was a frustrating result, but as time passes, I'll look back on it.

I tried to absorb it as much as I could. That just comes with maturing as I've gotten older. You can kind of let things slip by and not really take it in, and maybe having kids kind of taught me that you really have to take a moment to just look around and be thankful for having an opportunity like this and realize how special it is. I tried to do that as much as I could today.

The game was tough. You're wrapped up in the heat of the moment of an intense game against our biggest rival. There were moments, though, where you could absorb some experiences from being at the Heritage Classic. It was a pretty cool moment, for example, coming out with Nickelback wrapping up their set from the second intermission, lights on, third period upcoming, one-goal game. That was something that sticks out from today. But, understandably, everything's a little bittersweet right now.

This was my first outdoor game in the NHL, so I didn't quite know what to expect coming up to Commonwealth Stadium for the outdoor game. It couldn't have been more memorable.

They did an amazing job, I think. I think everybody involved with the NHL and everybody who put this together did a really great job. It felt special. It felt memorable. It definitely lived up to the hype in terms of the turnout and attendance with a sellout crowd. Amongst the 55,411 was a good amount of support from the Calgary side too. Right now, it's just unfortunate we couldn't get them the win. I'd love to do it again and shoot for another result.

I would do it again in a heartbeat. The conditions were great; the weekend was great. It's just special. But to that point, I think what makes it special is that it's such a rare thing.

That's why you take it in and really try to savor those moments.

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