Where will the NHL go next for outdoor games?

Elliotte Friedman looks at the biggest stories floating around the NHL, including the potential locations for the league’s outdoor games and the Kings’ goaltending struggles.

On Sunday, the Winnipeg Jets will host the Edmonton Oilers in the 2016 Heritage Classic, the 19th outdoor game the NHL has seen since the 2003 Montreal-Edmonton meeting at Commonwealth Stadium.

The question the league has in front of it: where to go from here?

With historic baseball and football stadiums having been used, and locations varying from the frigid northern NHL cities to balmy California, the NHL has been looking at new potential venues.

“They’ve gone to a lot of cities, they don’t necessarily want to go back to cities a second and third time, so they’re saying where else can we go with this?” said Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman during Saturday’s Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada.

Friedman went on to mention the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., as one of the places the league was looking at, for a game featuring the New York Rangers.

The Rangers would have to be the away team, due to a clause in their lease with Madison Square Garden that saves the team millions of dollars in taxes as long as it plays all its home games at MSG.

Friedman also mentioned South Bend, Ind., home of the University of Notre Dame, as well as an international location as other possibilities.

“They’re just looking at different ideas to continue to grow this past just NHL cities,” said Friedman.

Of course, it’s not always so simple.

“The issue is cost,” said Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos. “That’s the big thing here, who picks up the tab?”

Kypreos alluded to the NHL’s interest in giving Ottawa an outdoor game as part of its centennial celebrations, with a temporary site perhaps being built on Parliament Hill.

“Is the government willing to pitch in money? [The games] are not as lucrative as people would think based on the cost of putting this thing up and the insurance.”

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