The Heritage Classic is back! The league announced that the Winnipeg Jets will play host to the Calgary Flames for the Heritage Classic later this year.
After a three-year hiatus, the Heritage Classic is returning! If you’re not aware, the Heritage Classic is an outdoor game, similar to the Winter Classic, except it’s only between Canadian teams. The last one was in 2016 when the Winnipeg Jets hosted the Edmonton Oilers and lost 3-0. This year, it’ll be the Jets playing host again to the Calgary Flames on October 26th.
The last and only time the Flames played in the Heritage Classic was in 2011 when they hosted the Montreal Canadiens at McMahon Stadium for the second ever Heritage Classic. It was very cold that evening with it being -25°C with the windchill. The Flames won 4-0 in front of a crowd of about 41,000 people. This went over the capacity for McMahon since it usually has a capacity of 35,650, but they opened up some more seating arrangements to make more room. In that game, Miikka Kiprusoff was named the first star of the game as he made 39 saves. Which is quite impressive seeing how it was literally freezing.
So far this season, it’s a constant battle for first place in the West between the Flames and the Jets. While the Flames have two points more than Jets, the Jets do have two games on hand. However, both are still in the top five in the league.
These two teams could very well meet in the Western Conference finals as well. The Flames have been leading the Pacific Division for over a month now while the Jets have been battling for that first place spot in the Central Division with the Nashville Predators since basically the start of the season.
If it ends up being the Flames and Jets in the Western Conference finals, that will make the Heritage Classic even better. It would most likely be their first rematch since the playoffs. Again, these are big ifs.
This year, the game will be held in Regina. Although it is in October, Saskatchewan and Manitoba tend to get quite cold and weather in Canada is extremely unpredictable, so it could very well be -25 again or +10.
In the words of Drake, I’m flying back home (Regina) for the Heritage Classic.