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Predators excited to be part of unique Winter Classic in Dallas

Playing the game in Texas shows a different side of hockey fans, and Nashville amps up that concept

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- As much as the Winter Classic is going to mean a lot to the City of Dallas and the Stars, it's also a pretty big deal for the Nashville Predators.

The Stars were announced as the host of the 2020 Winter Classic outdoor hockey game at Cotton Bowl Stadium on New Year's Day, and the Predators were announced as the opponent during the All-Star Game weekend. Making this a Sunbelt Classic means a lot to both organizations, as they are getting exposure and recognition that has often been reserved for more traditional teams in the past.

"I've never played in one and I don't think many of our players here have played in one, so I think it's awesome," said Nashville captain Roman Josi. "I think it will be a new thing for a lot of people."

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Opportunity for something great

Stars and Predators have unique opportunity leading up to Winter Classic

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

The old saying is that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

That can apply in so many different ways for the Dallas Stars and the Winter Classic.

The Stars management team pushed and prepared to make a unique proposal to the NHL to bring the traditional outdoor game to Dallas so it could be played at the iconic Cotton Bowl. They were lucky when the league agreed that would be a good idea.

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2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will feature the Stars and Predators

The game will mark the first NHL regular-season outdoor game for both Dallas and Nashville

by Press Release @DallasStars /

The National Hockey League announced today that the Dallas Stars will face-off against the Nashville Predators in the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®. Earlier this month, the NHL announced that the Dallas Stars would host the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, Texas, on Jan. 1, 2020; today the League announced the Predators as the Stars' opponent for the outdoor game.

The 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will mark the first NHL regular-season outdoor game for both the Stars and the Predators. The game continues the tradition the League established in 2008 of hosting a regular-season outdoor game at the onset of the new year, with the 2020 edition marking the 12-year anniversary of the first NHL Winter Classic in Buffalo.

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'Good memories': Winter Classic takes Stars back to their roots

Whether a veteran of NHL outdoor games or backyard rinks, Dallas' players agree: This will be special

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

When the Winter Classic comes to Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas next Jan. 1, it will be the latest of the games designed to take hockey back to its roots -- the outdoors, frozen ponds and lakes, and backyard rinks.

"That's good memories," said Stars defenseman John Klingberg. "That's how you started playing, right?"

Those outdoor roots vary, depending on where players began lacing up the skates.  

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Hey Heika: What will Stars' Winter Classic jerseys look like? senior staff writer Mike Heika answers Twitter questions from fans in his latest mailbag

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

It has been a while since we conversed under the Twitter format of #HeyHeika, so let's do so today. Lots of good questions as the Stars pass the midway point and start thinking about a strong finish and a possible trade.

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Rinky Dinking Podcast: Who should be Stars' opponent in Winter Classic?

Razor and Heika talk uniforms for the Winter Classic, some names to watch at the trade deadline and more

by Daryl Reaugh and Mike Heika / Rinky Dinking Podcast

On the road in St. Louis, Daryl 'Razor' Reaugh and Mike Heika discuss the NHL Winter Classic coming to Dallas in 2020. The guys debate who the Stars' opponent should be and what their uniforms could look like for the big game.

Also, breaking down the rise of Finnish hockey players, Alex Ovechkin's decision to skip All-Star Weekend in San Jose and who the Stars might be interested in acquiring come trade deadline time.

'Rinky Dinking' is available now for download on iTunes, Spotify and

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NHL aims to highlight best of Stars, Dallas at Winter Classic

The league hopes to produce a spectacle that makes the 2020 event at Cotton Bowl Stadium more than just a game

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

The Winter Classic is a combined effort between the league, an NHL team, and the host city, and Steve Mayer has a big job in bringing together all of those elements.

The Chief Content Officer for the NHL is busy juggling Winter Classics and All-Star Games and Stadium Series events, so he's got a lot of chainsaws flipping through the air. But in doing so, he says his first goal is to make every one of these events unique.

That's one reason the NHL decided to hold the 2020 Winter Classic at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, Mayer said.

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Benn says Winter Classic 'a long time coming' for Dallas

The Stars hope the league's signature outdoor game will be 'memorable for all involved' next year

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Dallas Stars players got word that the 2020 Winter Classic was coming to Dallas well in advance of Tuesday's announcement by the NHL. On Wednesday, players got to share their thoughts on the Stars taking on a still to be determined opponent at the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day next year.

"It's awesome. It's been a long time coming," said Stars captain Jamie Benn. "Some people in this organization obviously did a great job getting that game here. (Stars president) Brad Alberts was probably a big part of it. It's going to be great to bring hockey to the outdoors of the state of Texas."

During his youth, playing outdoors for Benn meant street hockey because there wasn't a lot of snow or frozen ponds in Victoria, British Columbia, so he is relishing an opportunity to play an outdoor game on ice.

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Winter Classic gives Stars, fans chance to say, 'Why Dallas? Why not?'

On one of the NHL's grandest stages, the city can show off its buzz for hockey in Texas and the Great Southwest

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

Outdoor hockey in Dallas?

The spotlight of the NHL on Dallas?

Haven't the Stars missed the playoffs in eight of the past 10 years?

Dude, what is happening here?

I get it. Tuesday's announcement that the 2020 Winter Classic will be held at Cotton Bowl Stadium might take a few of you by surprise. I know the fans in Minnesota are confused. They "only" got a Stadium Series game. Same with Denver. This is the big one. This is the time where all of hockey is staring at you.

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'A bucket-list item': Winter Classic makes Stars part of hockey history

The organization aims to showcase the 2020 event at Cotton Bowl Stadium as 'a celebration of hockey in Dallas'

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

At the heart of the NHL's Winter Classic is a feeling that you will return to a simpler time when kids played hockey on outdoor rinks and felt the cold biting at their face.

It's tough to get the cold and memories of outdoor hockey in Dallas, but with the announcement that the Stars will play host to a Winter Classic Game on Jan. 1, 2020, they certainly will have the memories of a simpler time.

In choosing Cotton Bowl Stadium as the venue, the NHL and the Stars will invite fans to a building that will be almost 90 years old, a building that embraces history, a building that embraces Texas. It is an unexpected curveball that probably helped get one of the league's biggest events to Dallas.

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