Winter Classic Foes All But Official

2012 Winter Classic temporary logo / NHL.comThe 2012 NHL Winter Classic will take place not on New Year's Day but the day after, when the Philadelphia Flyers host the New York Rangers at Citizens Bank Park.

The New York Times says this information has been confirmed by a league official not authorized to speak publicly on the decision.

Technically, it's still speculative at this point, but it will be official as soon as the NHL releases next season's schedule. And that's expected as early as tomorrow.

This graphic to the right here is the first temporary logo being used to promote the 5th annual outdoor game. The final version of the 2011 Winter Classic logo was unveiled on the same day as the schedule release, so perhaps we could see it Thursday as well.

The Flyers-Rangers game will take place on Jan. 2, 2012, due to the fact that Jan. 1 falls on a Sunday and the NFL season will still be underway. And the NHL doesn't need that kind of competition.

I know most of us, Flyers fans excluded, aren't thrilled with seeing a Pennsylvania team involved in this event for the fourth time in five years. This pattern seems to be repeating past WC opponents to allow them to host a game of their own. If it continues, we could see Detroit hosting in 2013. Who would you like to see them play? The Avalanche? Maybe the Blues or Stars? Think of the throwback jersey possibilities.

Since I can't leave this post without something interesting to look at, here's a concept designed by DC Visual Arts. How about these for Winter Classic uniforms? Even NESN was sort of fooled.

Winter Classic 2012 concept / DC Visual Arts