The Winter Classic will have a patriotic intermission.
USA Hockey will announce its 2018 Olympic and Paralympic teams during the second intermission of the New Year’s Day game. The organization and NBC Sports figure viewership will be high for the game between the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers, so it will serve as a lead-in to the Olympics, which also will be televised by NBC.
“The NHL Winter Classic is one of the can’t-miss hockey events on the calendar every year,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. “We’re excited to share with fans, both at Citi Field and those watching on NBC, our Olympic and Paralympic rosters.”
USA Hockey will have players from the men’s, women’s and sled hockey teams in attendance. Former Sabres captain Brian Gionta is a lock for the men’s team, which may also include Western New York goaltenders David Leggio and Parker Gahagen.
The Olympic Games are being held in PyeongChang, South Korea. The women’s team will begin its schedule Feb. 11 when it faces Finland. The men’s team starts Feb. 14 against Slovenia. The Paralympics will run from March 9-18.