Greg Wyshynski ESPN
It's official: The Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins will play in the Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium on Jan. 1, 2019. We know many of you are irritated the Blackhawks are in another outdoor game. Get over it. The best Winter Classics are the ones where the venue is the star, and it would have been nonsensical to not have the Blackhawks in the Notre Dame game given their regional appeal. The venue should also produce an outdoor game local ratings bounce-back for Chicago: They were down 35 percent at St. Louis in 2017 when compared to 2015's game at Washington. The Blackhawks are still a national ratings driver. At this point, they're hockey's John Cena: widely popular, selling lots of merch and leaving smart fans frustrated that new talent isn't getting over. (Please wait your turn again, Nashville.) Although, unlike Cena, the Blackhawks don't always win, going 1-4 in outdoor games. If nothing else, be happy the Winter Classic is being played in a state without an NHL team, hopefully opening the door for games at Lambeau Field in Green Bay (featuring the Blackhawks) and Safeco Field in Seattle (also featuring the Blackhawks, probably). Also be happy you're not Jonathan Toews, having to answer the same questions about wind and sun glare and youth pond hockey for the sixth time since 2009, while stewing over the fact that two real points are on the line in a gimmick game.