Winter Classic Shifts to Desert, Indoors

Despite the preceding headline and logo, the world, in fact, did not end today. Then again the day isn't yet over. So we'll see what happens. But while we're all still here, it's back to the blogging grind for me.

On Tuesday, the ECHL's Las Vegas Wranglers announced that they will be hosting the Ontario Reign for the Indoor Winter Classic at the Orleans Arena on Jan. 1, 2013. Yes. This story is too funny not to be true. The Wranglers have a marketing department that just can't help themselves. And why should they? Got to do something to rally a tourist town around your hockey team.

In fact, the press release itself demonstrates a refreshing sense of humor that we don't often get from professional hockey teams. Take a look.

“The game will feature many arena doors being left open in hope of creating unpredictable breeze patterns,” said Wranglers President and Chief Operating Officer Billy Johnson. “We are hoping for quite a draft.”

A trophy, which is currently being built, will be presented to the winning team and will feature a chain and a padlock somewhere in the design. The emphasis on the chain and lock is as yet undetermined because it’s a “budget matter,” said a team representative.

Advance weather forecasts for inside the arena call for intermittent snow for the Indoor Winter Classic, as well as the sound of whistling winds throughout the game.

“We hope that with time the Indoor Winter Classic grows and we will be forced to move it outdoors,” Johnson said.

Fans will be allowed to skate with the Wranglers following the Indoor Winter Classic, and rental skates will be provided at no additional charge.

In previous seasons the Wranglers have presented Dick Cheney Hunting Vest Night, Rod Blagojevich Prison Uniform Night, and Rapture Night: The Last Hockey Game on Earth. The Wranglers have also played at least one game at midnight since its inception in 2003, and hosted such performers as Mini Kiss and Tony Clifton at games.

A "budget matter," said a team representative. That line alone made me actually laugh out loud. You know why? Because if you can't laugh about this asinine lockout, you'll only cry. Good on the Wranglers for at least making a little extra cash off of it. Somebody should.

The team also says it will host Over 18 Night: The World's First Topless Hockey Game on Feb. 4. Only in Vegas. Can't wait to see the special jerseys for that game! Er... well.