It looks like there's no need for Mike Green or Ovie to go tuque shopping. The Caps have been bumped from next year's NHL Winter Classic, relays Puck Daddy.
Next year's outdoor hockeypalooza is scheduled to take place in Boston. The scuttlebutt was that the Bruins were to take on Ovie, but ixnay on the unfay. It looks like the Flyers will be playing instead.
Caps fans kind of had to know this was coming when George McPhee muttered some comments as transcribed by the Post: "I would just assume if we were in it that we would know by now."
It's definitely not official, but WEEI in Philly has their sources who say it's done.
So why the change? Blame TV.
"[M]ultiple sources revealed to WEEI.com that there are concerns from NBC over television ratings with the Capitals – who are being pushed by the NHL to be the choice. NBC is instead campaigning for Philadelphia, according to one source, and the odds are improving by the day that the Flyers will be traveling to the Fens in January.
"The lackluster playoff ratings for NBC during an opening round Stanley Cup playoffs matchup between Alexander Ovechkin and his Washington Capitals vs. the New York Rangers – the hockey team from the nation’s #1 TV market – is believed to at least be partly behind the network’s motives."
All isn't to be lost. Puck Daddy raises the idea of an Ovie/Crosby rematch in the future.
And there's another bright side. As a commenter at Japers' Rink put it, "One less Caps game I have to hear called by Emrick."
Chris Needham used to write Capitol Punishment. He liked Emrick before they told him to shout more.