10 years after the first NHL Winter Classic was played in Orchard Park at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the Buffalo Sabres will once again play outside.
After months of speculation, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made the official announcement Tuesday night during intermission of the Eastern Conference semifinals between Ottawa and New York.
The Sabres will battle the Rangers at Citi Field on Jan. 1, 2018.
The tradition started in Buffalo on 1-1-2008.
It'll continue in New York on 1-1-2018.
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) May 10, 2017
“The Winter Classic made its debut under snowy Buffalo skies in 2008, and we look forward to celebrating the 10th anniversary of that landmark event by matching the Sabres with their intrastate rivals, the New York Rangers, in the 2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citi Field," Bettman said in a statement. “With New York City as its host, the renewal of our New Year's tradition will continue to inspire hockey memories for our clubs, our players and our fans.”
“After hosting the first NHL Winter Classic in 2008, we are happy to be able to celebrate the 10-year anniversary by playing in the 2018 game,” Sabres President Russ Brandon added. “We look forward to participating in this marquee event and helping to promote the great game of hockey on such a large scale.”
In 2008, the Sabres lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in a shootout.
The Rangers will playing in their first Winter Classic since 2012, when they beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 at Citizens Bank Park.