The NHL introduced that Dallas will host the 2020 Winter Traditional at the Cotton Bowl subsequent Jan. 1 — however didn’t identify an opponent for them.
Who would you like to see play towards the Stars in the 2020 Winter Traditional?
Greg Wyshynski, senior NHL author: It was an odd transfer by the NHL to announce a Winter Traditional host (the Dallas Stars) and a venue (the Cotton Bowl) and never an opponent (TBD). However commissioner Gary Bettman informed me that there are a big variety of issues the league, its tv companions and the Stars have to navigate to discover the proper match. Will their followers journey? Can they pull scores? Will the sport be price watching?
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Nashville is over 650 miles away from Dallas, however the Predators tick off so lots of the different bins the NHL has open. Their followers would possibly journey for the first outside sport in franchise historical past — and remember these followers aren’t simply native to Nashville, however regional to locations like Kentucky and Alabama. The Predators are a division rival of the Stars, and have proven a capability to entice nationwide curiosity.
However greater than anything: This is able to be like the CMA Awards combined with pond hockey. A staff from Texas vs. a staff from Tennessee. What a second for the NHL to have two non-traditional markets have the Winter Traditional highlight to themselves. What a chance for the NHL to have fun the regional range of the league in 2020, with an outside sport that, for the first time in league historical past, won’t characteristic a staff from both coast, the Northeastern U.S., Canada or the Authentic Six. Stars. Predators. Winter Traditional 2020. Drop the puck.
Emily Kaplan, nationwide NHL reporter: Nashville deserves an outside sport. However I would relatively Nashville wait an additional yr and host their very own outside sport in 2021.
Who do I would like going through the Stars subsequent yr? The Minnesota Wild. Look, relocation is awkward and messy. The league usually does not understand how to correctly honor a staff once they’ve left (see: the Carolina Hurricanes’ divisive Hartford Whalers evening). There’s undoubtedly nonetheless laborious emotions in Minnesota (particularly for then-owner Norm Inexperienced) after the North Stars bolted, creating an eight-year NHL absence in the State of Hockey.
Some would possibly view the Stars internet hosting the Wild on this stage as a flex. I see it as a celebration of the previous, but additionally the current; two groups that discovered a approach to make it work of their cities, one being a traditional hockey market, the different not. Get Neal Broten, Mike Modano and different outdated North Stars concerned. Have Zach Parise put on his dad J.P.’s outdated helmet and gloves throughout warmups once more. Construct up a story of drama. Inform me you would not tune in.
Sachin Chandan, ESPN the Journal researcher: I like to see outside video games as methods to reward profitable groups in addition to placed on thrilling matchups, so I would like to see the Stars play the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning have the second greatest document of the previous 5 seasons general, and are the most profitable staff that has not been chosen for an outside sport.
The Lightning common the fifth most photographs per sport and quit the eighth most photographs towards, and since 2013, the Lightning and Stars have averaged 7.7 mixed objectives of their head-to-head matchups, so the sport should be thrilling, fast-paced, and high-scoring. Whereas the Stars might have their, umm, points with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, the Lightning characteristic a stacked lineup led by Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman that deserves an opportunity to shine in the nationwide highlight. And like Greg’s selection above, it could even be a celebration of two organizations which have developed their very own manufacturers of profitable southern hockey.