Quick Hits: The NHL heads outdoors again... but what's really next?

The Big Story

NHL considering West Point, Notre Dame for future outdoor games | Puck Daddy

The NHL's latest adventure outdoors took place yesterday in Winnipeg. The Jets hosted the game and lost to the league's top team, the Oilers (not a typo!), 3-0. The game gave us a beautiful look at our favorite sport via the ref cam:

So what's next? We know the Red Wings will head to Toronto to play the Maple Leafs in the Babcock Challenge Centennial Classic on January 1st. The Blues will host the Blackhawks at Busch Stadium in the Winter Classic on January 2nd. To wrap things up this season, the Penguins will play an outdoor game for the 2nd time at Heinz Field. Their opponent this time will be the Flyers and the event is part of the Stadium Series.

But what's really next?

According to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, the NHL is looking at West Point and Notre Dame as potential locations. I love the idea of branching outside the normal baseball and football stadiums. Eventually -- if it hasn't already -- the novelty of outdoor hockey will wear off. The NHL's cash cow will need to reinvent itself and taking games to more "exotic" locations could be an even bigger lottery ticket of the league.

The Puck Daddy article also mentions international sites could be considered in the future. That pretty much guarantees a Red Wings game in Sweden. We should start planning the first ever international WIIM meet-up in Stockholm now!

In Red Wings Land

Wings’ Ryan Sproul making immediate impact | The Detroit News

It's a bit of a weekend recap for the Wings and Krupa starts with Sproul. The young defenseman got his first opportunity of the season on Friday and it doesn't appear like he wants to let go of his spot in the lineup. Sproul made the most of his ice time and registered an assist in each of his two games this weekend. One of his assists came on the power play.

The Wings have things going their way at the moment. They shouldn't mess with their current pairs on the blue line. It's definitely not perfect, but they're winning. Niklas Kronwall can take his sweet, sweet time rehabbing.

In addition to the Sproul talk, Krupa also touches on Gus Nyquist's start to the season and the "less is more" approach with Andreas Athanasiou.

Let's Go Red Wings.