The NHL made it official on Monday: The Washington Capitals will host the Toronto Maple Leafs in an outdoor game at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. on March 3, 2018.
The League intends this to be the launch of a series of outdoor games at other U.S. Service Academies.
“The Maple Leafs and Capitals will make their respective Coors Light NHL Stadium Series debuts in our inaugural outdoor game at a U.S. Service Academy,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “The energy and excitement will be extraordinary at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium when these teams resume the rivalry that reached new heights during their First Round playoff series this past April.”
“Our gratitude to the NHL and their administration for allowing us to host this special event and tribute to the military, and most especially the Naval Academy,” U.S. Naval Academy Director of Athletics, Chet Gladchuk said. “Conducting this matchup in Annapolis will allow us to bring together our midshipmen, many from the Fleet, and the local community to enjoy a day of exciting action and add another chapter in the annals of our stadium’s history.”
The game will provide quite a spotlight for Auston Matthews, as the best young American player to come along in years gets an outdoor game in the U.S.
One concern: That these outdoor games tend to be more competitive, and drive a bit more interest, when the teams are closer geographically.
That said, Puck Daddy has learned that the NHL intends to make this game a celebration of both the American and Canadian armed forces.
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