The Regina Pats saw an opportunity to play outdoors during their 100th anniversary season get put on ice because of low ticket sales due to concerns about weather, for what would have been a February game against the Moose Jaw Warriors.
With word that the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets will meet at Mosaic October 26 in the NHL’s Heritage Classic, some are wondering if the Pats might try and get a game in on that weekend as well.
General Manager John Paddock says you would be foolish not to take advantage of the opportunity if it was presented to them, but at this time there has been no talk.
“Anybody would,” Paddock said. “There’s no schedule for next season yet. That is a big factor. Our schedule usually comes out in June, but I am sure it is something that would be discussed at different levels starting with the NHL and WHL.”
Paddock says in outdoor games he has been involved with, there has always been more than one game with another league being showcased as well. When the Heritage Classic was in Calgary, the Pats played the Calgary Hitmen and while the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins played on New Year’s Day in South Bend, Indiana, the rink at Notre Dame Stadium is being used for a game between Notre Dame and Michigan on Saturday. When the last Heritage Classic was played in Winnipeg at Investors Group Field, the contest between the Jets and Oilers was preceeded by an alumni game between the two teams featuring players like Wayne Gretzky, Bill Ranford, Teemu Selanne and Dale Hawerchuk
Paddock says timing will be a factor and obviously the main tenant of Mosaic Stadium will want back in to their facility soon after the Flames-Jets game is over.
“Personally, I am surprised there is a game here in October because there are football games to be played here so there is a time-frame.” Paddock said. “At the end of the day, it is between the NHL and the WHL as to whether or not they want to add to what will be going on. It would be a thrill for our kids, but that decision is not in our control.”