Bruins fans will have a fun (if frigid) way to spend the next New Year’s Day: watching their favorite hockey team play at Fenway Park.
According to a source familiar with the negotiations between the league, the players, and the teams, the Bruins have been given the go-ahead to play this year’s Winter Classic outdoor game at Fenway Park on Jan. 1, 2010. That same source indicated their opponent could be either the Capitals or Flyers, though no decision has been made.
Over the last three months, speculation has been that the Bruins’ opponent would be the Canadiens. But it appears the Habs will not be coming to Fenway.
A report in the Boston Herald this morning said that Boston was chosen to host this year’s Classic — a popular if relatively new NHL tradition — over New York and Philadelphia:
League reps had visited all three cities and, in Boston, looked at both Fenway and Gillette Stadium . However, scheduling around any Patriots postseason play was a tricky proposition, we’re told, and ultimately Fenway got the nod.
Last year’s Classic between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley drew more than 40,000 fans.
A source familiar with negotiations between Red Sox officials and the NHL told ESPN’s Scott Burnside that the details “aren’t yet final, but it appears any issues have been addressed.” There was some previous concern that offseason renovations to the ballpark might prevent the game from being played there, according to the ESPN report.
Red Sox spokeswoman Pam Ganley referred questions to the NHL.
The Globe’s Chad Finn contributed to this report.