(CBS) Blackhawks president John McDonough said he doesn’t anticipate that sun glare will lead to much of a delay to the start of Thursday’s Winter Classic between Chicago and the Washington Capitals at Nationals Park.
The contest is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. ET/noon CT, and with the forecast calling for sunshine and temperatures near the 40s, there’ has been some worry that glare on the ice could delay the start.
“The concern has been glare,” McDonough said in an interview with Barry Rozner and Joe Ostrowski on 670 The Score. “I don’t anticipate there to be much of a delay. It’s hard to say.”
McDonough said the Blackhawks would know more later Wednesday after meeting with officials.
There’s precedent for this type of situation. The 2012 Winter Classic in Philadelphia was delayed by sun for about two hours.
As for his team’s second appearance in the Winter Classic, McDonough is once again grateful that the Blackhawks have the opportunity. They hosted the 2009 Winter Classic at Wrigley Field against the Red Wings and then got another chance to play outdoors in the Stadium Series last March 1 at Soldier Field.
“There’s something magical about these games,” McDonough said of outdoor contests. “There’s an innonence that draws many of the players back to their youth. There’s a sense of wonderment from all of us. I can’t imagine going into Nationals Park today and you see the rink set up as we saw at Soldier Field and Wrigley Field. I do think it brings each and every one of us back to our youth, and we tracked this game very closely many years ago with the first one in Buffalo (in 2008). And we really wanted to have it. I think that Wrigley Field game in 2009, it really changed the course of our franchise.”