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The Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues will another illustrious chapter to their storied rivalry when they square off in the annual NHL Winter Classic next season.
The Blues will be the host team for the ninth edition of the Winter Classic, to be held on Jan. 2, 2017, at Busch Stadium — home of baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals.
It will mark the third appearance for the Blackhawks in the Winter Classic. Chicago lost at home 6-4 to Original Six rival Detroit in 2009 and came out on the short end of a 3-2 decision at Washington in 2015.
Executives and players for the bitter NHL Central Division rivals were on hand for a ceremonial dropping of the puck Tuesday at home plate in Busch Stadium.
“We are honored to host the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Busch Stadium,” Blues Chairman Tom Stillman said. “Along with the St. Louis Cardinals, our organization and our great fans are excited to showcase the city of St. Louis and our storied rivalry with the Blackhawks at such an iconic venue.”
The teams squared off for the 12th time in the postseason in 2016, with the Blues outlasting the Blackhawks in a thrilling seven-game set.
“Historic rivalry. Iconic ballpark. Perfect fit,” Blackhawks President and CEO John McDonough said of the 2017 matchup. “Playoff atmosphere.”
The Winter Classic serves as an outdoor showcase for the NHL. Among the historic venues that have hosted the event are Wrigley Field and Fenway Park, the respective homes of the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox.
The 2014 matchup between Original Six rivals Toronto and Detroit drew a record 104,173 fans, the largest crowd ever to attend an NHL game.
“With the Blues celebrating their 50th anniversary, the league celebrating its 100th and with Busch Stadium wrapping up its 10th year of service to the St. Louis community, there will be plenty of history to commemorate and lots of excitement to anticipate as the Blues and Blackhawks resume a rivalry that has provided so many fantastic memories,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Tuesday.