The NHL Network stated on Saturday that an announcement regarding an outdoor game at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland will be made this coming Monday.
No more information has been provided at this point. An obvious host team for the game would be the Washington Capitals, although that has not been confirmed. The game would be the first time a U.S. service academy has hosted an NHL outdoor game. Announcing the game on Monday, Memorial Day, makes perfect sense.
AP sources have reported it will be the Capitals and Maple Leafs on March 3rd, 2018.
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) May 28, 2017
The Washington Post has also confirmed the announcement here. The Post reports Memorial Stadium — where the football team plays — will host the event and it has a capacity of 34,000. That would make for a relatively small venue for an outdoor game, but the NHL recently held one at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg and that facility’s reported capacity is 33,234.
The New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers played a preseason indoor game at West Point on Oct. 8, 2016. Panthers owner, Vinnie Viola, and expansion Vegas Golden Knights owner, Bill Foley, have Army ties.
This is the third outdoor game for the Capitals and Maple Leafs and the first in the Washington area since the 2015 Winter Classic downtown at Nationals Park.
Capitals-Maple Leafs at the Naval Academy will be one of at least three outdoor games next season. The Ottawa Senators will host the Montreal Canadiens in the Heritage Classic on Dec. 19, and the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres will play in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1 at Citi Field in New York.
By Jon Sorensen