No timetable for an official announcement was given, though one source speculated it would happen “before the end of the month.” The Capitals begin preseason training camp on Sept. 19, have their first preseason game on Sept. 21 versus Buffalo and open the regular season on Oct. 9 versus Montreal.
Spokesmen for both the Capitals and Monumental Sports and Entertainment, the Ted Leonsis-run company that owns the Capitals, declined comment. Neither group has been involved in negotiations, however.
The most recent Winter Classic held at a baseball stadium, at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park in 2012, wasn’t announced until Sept. 26, 2011, though the 2009 and 2010 Winter Classics were announced in mid-July. The 2013 Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, Mich., was announced in April 2013.
The Capitals will be participating in their second Winter Classic after beating Pittsburgh at Heinz Field in 2011. This matchup marks the first inter-conference Winter Classic; the Capitals and Blackhawks have split eight meetings over the past four seasons.
Stay tuned for more in tomorrow’s print edition.
Additional reporting by Mike Debonis