Report: NHL might cut back to two outdoor games for 2014-15

An overall view prior to the game between the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings at Dodger Stadium in January 2014.

Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images

Critics of the NHL’s decision to vastly expand its slate of outdoor games last season might be in luck.

According to Sportsnet’s John Shannon, the league likely will take the game outside just twice in 2014-15, with one event — the Winter Classic at Washington’s Nationals Park — already confirmed.

And as for the second contest, could San Jose fans be in luck?

Shannon’s report comes after the 2013-14 schedule included a record six outdoor games: the Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, Mich., the Heritage Classic in Vancouver and the Stadium Series, which featured two games at Yankee Stadium, one at Soldier Field and another at Dodger Stadium.

While the report that the NHL has decided to keep more games in traditional hockey venues is not surprising — commissioner Gary Bettman said as much last month, though he declined to give specifics — it does stir up curiosity about which team, and which venue, would host the second outdoor game.

The Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild and San Jose Sharks all have been rumored to have interest in hosting, with the Sharks’ report (from surfacing just two weeks ago.