NHL announces outdoor game at Naval Academy next season
On Memorial Day, the NHL announced the first installment of what they hope will be a series of outdoor games held at United States military academies.
That initial event, which will be part of the NHL's Stadium Series, will feature the Washington Capitals playing the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland next season. The game will be held on March 3, 2018 and will serve as a joint celebration of both the United States and Canadian armed forces.
“Our gratitude to the NHL and their administration for allowing us to host this special event and tribute to the military, and most especially the Naval Academy,” U.S. Naval Academy Director of Athletics, Chet Gladchuk said. “Conducting this matchup in Annapolis will allow us to bring together our midshipmen, many from the Fleet, and the local community to enjoy a day of exciting action and add another chapter in the annals of our stadium’s history.”
This will be the first time that both the Capitals and Maple Leafs have participated in a Stadium Series event, though both teams have been involved in multiple outdoor games in years past.
The matchup will be an intriguing one considering how entertaining and competitive the first round playoff series was between these two teams this year. Washington should have some roster changeover but will still have plenty of talent, and the Leafs will once again get to showcase their young stars, including Auston Matthews.
If nothing else, the military location(s) will help bring a new element to the league's outdoor games, which many will argue have grown a bit stale in their circuit around pro ballparks and football stadiums in recent years.
More NHL coverage from FoxSports.com: