The National Hockey League season is well underway and teams are already making some trades and sorting out their rosters.
Locally, the New York Rangers said goodbye to loyal veteran netminder Martin Biron after just 2 appearances this season and welcome new backup Cam Talbot into the fold. Talbot has played well in a few starts so far this season. Up front the Rangers have demoted Aaron Asham and Darrol Powe while youngsters Chris Kreider and JT Miller are forcing their way into the lineup.
The New Jersey Devils are witnessing a changing of the guard as Cory Schneider is slowing taking the reigns between the pipes as the living legend Martin Brodeur ages gracefully into the backup roll for the Devils. A huge transition for perhaps the greatest goalie of all-time but understandable that time catches up with us all eventually, but Marty can still stack the pads with the best of them from time to time and gives his team a chance to win when called up.
Perhaps the biggest shakeup came on Long Island as the Islanders pulled off the biggest trade of this early season when they acquired Free Agent-to-be Thomas Vanek from Buffalo in exchange for fan favorite Matt Moulson, a first round pick in 2014 and a second round pick in 2015! A steep price to pay for Vanek, a player who can walk away at the end of the season, but the Islanders made a statement with this trade and that statement is they mean business this season.
All of these changes make for great backdrop as these three teams will participate in the most exciting week of regular season hockey these parts have ever seen — on January 26th the Devils and Rangers will play at Yankee Stadium followed by the Rangers vs Islanders later that week on January 29th as part of the NHL Stadium Series.
Others games in the outdoor hockey series include the Ducks and Kings at Dodger Stadium, the Penguins and Blackhawks at Soldier Field and the 2 crown jewels of NHL outdoor hockey – The Winter Classic between Detroit & Toronto at The Big House in Michigan and the Heritage Classic between Vancouver and Ottawa at BC Place.
These games bring the game back to its beginnings and fans go absolutely crazy for it. These are the best players in the world playing at major outdoor venues, the likes of which may not happen again as the league is expected to go back to just a single outdoor game next season.