Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Nazem Kadri, Maple Leafs Eager to Participate in NHL's Winter Classic: Leafs Players Want in on Winter Classic

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Nazem Kadri, Maple Leafs Eager to Participate in NHL's Winter Classic: Leafs Players Want in on Winter Classic

Article excerpt

TORONTO - Nazem Kadri is ready to start the campaign: The Toronto Maple Leafs want in on the Winter Classic.

While watching Monday's outdoor game between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers at Citizens Bank Park, the 21-year-old forward posted a message to his Twitter account about getting the Leafs a spot in next year's game. Kadri was plenty aware of speculation over the weekend that Toronto might be tabbed to visit Detroit for the NHL's showcase event in 2013.

"It's something that I've always watched," Kadri said before Toronto faced Tampa on Tuesday. "I think it would be cool for Toronto to get in on something like that.

"It's something that definitely needs to happen for sure."

For its part, the NHL has indicated that it will be some time before a final decision is made on the participants for next year's game. All commissioner Gary Bettman would acknowledge is it will be taken to a new venue.

"My guess is it will be played in a place we have not been before," Bettman said Monday. "So, therefore, in the U.S., you've eliminated five locations. You can play with the other 25, play with geography and understand that temperature is a factor. ... You can eliminate some of the warmer climates. We are not probably going to go back to where we have been.

"So that's all you get from me today."

One hurdle to having the Leafs participate is the fact that broadcaster NBC might not be happy losing a second U.S. viewing market. The TV ratings for Monday's game were lower in America than the previous three years.

Like many NHL teams, Toronto has lobbied to host an outdoor game. The franchise is so eager to participate that general manager Brian Burke told one of his Twitter followers Monday cameras would only be allowed behind the scenes with the team if it were ahead of an outdoor game.

"If it's part of a Winter Classic, we will do it," wrote Burke. …

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