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Knights to participate in NHL’s Winter Classic next year

Updated January 2, 2023 - 1:25 pm

The Golden Knights are going to take part in the NHL’s signature regular-season event on New Year’s Day 2024.

The league announced Monday the Seattle Kraken will host the Knights in the 2024 Winter Classic in a matchup of its two newest franchises. The annual outdoor game will take place at Seattle’s T-Mobile Park, home of the Mariners.

The game will air on TNT. Additional details such as ticket information and a start time will be announced at a later date.

“It’s always fun to play outside,” goaltender Logan Thompson said. “I know next year seems like a long time away, but it’s going to be exciting.”

The Knights and the Kraken will become the 15th and 16th teams to participate in the Winter Classic.

The two expansion franchises joined the NHL in 2017 and 2021, respectively. They’ve already made enough of a splash to jump ahead of several other clubs and bring the event to a new part of the U.S.

The Winter Classic, which will celebrate its 16th anniversary in 2024, has only been as far west as Dallas in its history. It’s still become a major part of the NHL calendar ever since it began in 2008 at the Buffalo Bill’s Ralph Wilson Stadium.

“It’s just totally different than what we’re used to,” said defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who played in the 2017 edition with the Blues at the St. Louis Cardinals’ Busch Stadium. “It’s a big buildup and it’s a really cool event.”

T-Mobile Park will be the eighth MLB park to host a Winter Classic.

The Boston Bruins beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 at Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox, on Monday. Other venues include Busch Stadium, Chicago’s Wrigley Field, Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, Washington’s Nationals Park, New York’s Citi Field and Minnesota’s Target Field.

T-Mobile Park, which will host MLB’s All-Star Game on July 11, opened in 1999. It has a listed capacity of almost 48,000. It will host the Kraken’s first-ever outdoor game.

The Knights will be playing their second outdoor game after losing to the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Feb. 20, 2021, at Edgewood Tahoe Resort in Stateline, Nevada as part of the “NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe” event.

“I enjoy them,” said coach Bruce Cassidy, who won the 2019 Winter Classic and the second “NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe” game with the Bruins. “The preparation part sometimes can be different than what you’re used to, but if you take that in stride, just go enjoy the moment, stay in the moment, I think they’re awesome, personally.”

The high-profile matchup will lead to more comparisons between the Knights and Kraken, who had the same set of expansion rules when they entered the NHL.

The Knights sprinted out of the gates to reach the Stanley Cup Final their first year. They also made the playoffs their first four seasons, a run that included two other trips to the semifinals.

The Kraken had the third-worst record in the league when they debuted last year. They’re 1-5 against the Knights all-time, including 0-3 in Seattle.

Now the two teams get to take their burgeoning rivalry to the NHL regular season’s largest showcase.

“With all the Winter Classics I’ve watched as a kid and growing up, just to be in one, it’s special for sure,” Thompson said.


Contact Ben Gotz at bgotz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BenSGotz on Twitter.

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