ST. PAUL — The Wild will play host to the St. Louis Blues in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2021 at Target Field. The Wild were announced as the host of the Winter Classic for the first time on New Year’s Day but their opponent had not be revealed. That changed on Sunday.
This will be the second outdoor game the Wild have hosted. Minnesota beat the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 21, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus. The Winter Classic matchup was announced during the first intermission of the Wild’s 4-1 loss to the Blues on Sunday at Xcel Energy Center.
The Wild’s opponent did not come as a surprise given the Blues are Minnesota’s rival in the Central Division. The Blues and Minnesota North Stars, who moved to Dallas in 1993, came into the NHL as part of expansion in 1967 and were longtime rivals.
The Wild’s potential opponents for the Winter Classic included the Blues, Jets, Avalanche and Islanders. There were many who wanted the Wild to face the Jets, but NBC likely wasn’t interested in having a non-U.S. market in the game.