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Sunday, December 26, 2010

NHL Winter Classic Coverage | "Seven Days to Saturday" | Day 1, Dec. 26

Dec 26, 2010
Coverage By - Frank Murgia
Source Credits -NHL, Photos: Frank Murgia

PITTSBURGH - Today is day ONE of our "Seven Days to Saturday" 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Coverage which is being held here in Pittsburgh at Heinz Field on Saturday,  January 1, 2011 @ 1pm est.

2011 NHL Winter Classic News Coverage

This morning I checked out the Winter Classic Community Rink at 'Stage AE' also known as the (LCR) "Little Classic Rink" built right outside Heinz Field. First off it was quite cold, windy and full of flurries. A day like this would be perfect weather for the Jan. 1 game to be played but as it stands now the early forecast is 45 degrees and rainy with a contingency plan to play the game on Sunday the 2nd if need be, let's hope that changes. Today felt and looked like the classic held in Buffalo in 2008. Outside of the entrance tent a merchandise trailer owned by the Pittsburgh Steelers was filled with winter classic merch. The trailer said Steelers painted on the outside but for this week it is all about hockey and the enormous variety of officially licensed shirts, hats, caps, jerseys, pucks and more. There were even two or three Washington Capitals items peaking through the mounds of Penguins throwback blue merchandise. The vendor said sales and foot traffic had been brisk (Up to 100 people per hour at times lining up for a chance to skate) since the rinks opening for public skate on Christmas Eve.

The entrance tent was filled with folks bundled up and bubbling with smiles and joy. As you enter there is a wall of skates available for rent then an holding area with warm concession food then a line of folks walking through the door at the end of the tent which reveals the LCR, a Zamboni, a scoreboard and bleachers full of folks of all ages covered head to toe in warm winter wear. Today a public skate was not available but the day was dedicated to the PAHL Youth Hockey Games. The game I watched featured the son of Penguins GM Ray Shero who was on the ice playing for the Pittsburgh Predators. GM Shero was in attendance playing the part of parent who blended nicely in jeans, ski jacket and a warm knit tuque.

Overall the day was an "A" for great atmosphere and picture perfect weather for outdoor hockey.

Check back daily for our continuing coverage and click around in our sidebar here on the site for a flurry of coverage from talent network news and NHL.com

2011 NHL Winter Classic News Coverage

2011 NHL Winter Classic News Coverage

2011 NHL Winter Classic News Coverage

2011 NHL Winter Classic News Coverage

* VIEW our DAY-1 Full Winter Classic  PHOTO Album
* VIEW our Winter Classic NEWS Page

More Related Coverage:
Live News From Heinz Field
(Check out Dan Rosen's NHL.com video reports and 'Rosens Latest" footage of the rink being built in Heinz Field.)

* Check out the Winter Classic Community Little Classic Rink Skate Schedule
* The Winter Classic Weather Forecast (Yikes!)

* Pittsburgh Tribune Review
   * Winter Classic contingency plans call for 'long window' to play game Saturday
   * Youth hockey takes center stage

   * NHL To Create Free Winter Classic Fan Festival Outside Heinz Field

* Faceoff-Factor

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