Winnipeg could get an outdoor game in December 2016

Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman discuss all the big news in the NHL, including more NHL games outdoors, if Jaromir Jagr will play in the All-Star game, and much more.

Christmas could come a little bit early for Winnipeg Jets fans next winter.

It’s no secret that Winnipeg will be getting an outdoor hockey game — NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said as much during Friday’s Winter Classic. The main question, however, has been when, exactly, it will happen.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, it could be slated for next December.

“It is believed the league and the city are working on [an outdoor game] next year, before Christmas,” Friedman said during Saturday’s Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada, also indicating that the pre-Winter Classic timing would be something a little different for the NHL.

Winnipeg's Heritage Classic, to be hosted at the home of the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers, was initially slated to happen this season but scheduling difficulties between the two leagues caused it to be delayed.

“We haven’t settled on a date that we’re ready to announce," Bettman said Friday. "We do owe Winnipeg a game, and we would’ve been there last year but the Grey Cup and some complications."

As for rumours of a double-header outdoor game for the 2017 Winter Classic, Friedman said it's "not likely that's going to happen."