NHL News: Bobby Orr to Return to Boston for 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic

Bruins Icon Leads Appearances by Boston Red Sox and Bruins Alumni, Rock Band The Black Keys, R&B Trio Bell Biv DeVoe, Renowned Boston Pops Orchestra, Local University Groups and Youth Hockey Players at Jan. 2 Outdoor Game

NHL Public Relations

December 28, 2022

Bobby Orr at the 2010 NHL Winter Classic. By Aaron Frutman – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

NEW YORK (Dec. 28, 2022) – The 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic® will include Fenway Park in its celebration of hockey’s roots outdoors when the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins face off at Major League Baseball’s oldest operating ballpark on Monday, Jan. 2, the National Hockey League (NHL) announced today. The day’s festivities will feature the return of NHL legend Bobby Orr to Boston; appearances by former Bruins and Boston Red Sox players; performances by The Black KeysBell Biv DeVoe and the Boston Pops; and baseball-themed activations on the “Ice Diamond” auxiliary rink. Live television coverage will begin at 2 p.m. ET on TNT in the U.S. and on Sportsnet, CBC and TVA Sports in Canada.

The transformation of the field for this year’s sold-out NHL Winter Classic pays tribute to baseball and highlights the iconic Green Monster with the NHL-regulation size rink constructed parallel to the famed left-field wall. An auxiliary rink stands in between, resembling a baseball diamond with dugouts and a faceoff circle at the pitcher’s mound.

Attention will be on the Ice Diamond, where Orr will be joined by former Red Sox captain Jason Varitek, longtime pitcher Tim Wakefield, and Bruins legends Zdeno Chara and Johnny Bucyk for the ceremonial puck drop, which will take the form of a first pitch.

Youth hockey players, ages 7-11, from local organizations including Acton-Boxboro Youth Hockey AssociationBoston Jr. EaglesBoston Jr. Eagles U10 GirlsEast Coast Wizards U10Hyde Park Youth HockeyNashoba GrizzliesSCORE Boston and Westwood Mites, will take over the Ice Diamond for shinny hockey and baseball-themed games throughout the day.

The opening ceremony will formally begin with Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart introducing the Bruins and Penguins for the first time, as each team skates from its respective dugout to separate baselines on the Ice Diamond. The Pops orchestra will play throughout the introduction, welcoming audiences watching live and from home.

The Boston Pops, led by Lockhart, will serve as the house band throughout the game, performing orchestral renditions of popular songs and a crowd sing-along to “Sweet Caroline,” in keeping with Red Sox tradition. Fans will also be encouraged to join Boston Bruins anthem singer, Todd Angilly, in singing “Take Me Out to the Hockey Game” in homage to baseball’s seventh inning stretch.

Boston University’s Army ROTC – the Charles River Battalion – will present colors, while 60 uniformed cadets from Boston University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Northeastern University unfurl the U.S. flag over the Green Monster.

Legendary Boston-based R&B trio Bell Biv DeVoe will then join the Boston Pops on the orchestra stage for the singing of the U.S. national anthem. American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation will be provided as part of the NHL’s season-long partnership with P-X-P. Founder and CEO of P-X-P Brice Christianson will serve as ASL interpreter and Stephanie Hakulin will serve as ASL performer.

Several F-15 jets from the 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard will fly over the Green Monster, from north to south, operated by pilots sporting the Bruins’ NHL Winter Classic jersey.

As previously announced, GRAMMY award-winning rock band The Black Keys will perform during the first intermission presented by Ticketmaster. A portion of the performance will be televised.

The 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic® continues the tradition the League established in 2008 of hosting a regular-season outdoor game at the onset of the new year, with the 2023 edition marking the 15-year anniversary of the first NHL Winter Classic® in Buffalo. The game will be the 14th NHL Winter Classic®, the 36th NHL regular-season outdoor game, and the first of two NHL regular-season outdoor games scheduled for the 2022-23 season. For a complete history of NHL regular-season outdoor games, click here.

Fans can join the conversation on social media by tagging their photos and video content using NHL #WinterClassic.


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