The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins each entered the National Hockey League as expansion clubs in 1967, members of the so-called "Expansion Six" that also included the Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, Minnesota North Stars and California Golden Seals.
As you may have noticed, 1967 plus 50 is 2017, and that's just two short years away now. The Flyers and Penguins will play their 50th anniversary seasons in 2017-18 ... so, what a perfect time for an outdoor game! The topic came up at Thursday's Flyers Town Hall meeting, attended by season ticket holders.
At the town hall Tilger said flyers/pens at penn state 2016-2017 season. Pitching to league 50th anniversary of 1967 expansion teams— Lauren (@Grossmann_L) March 27, 2015
An outdoor game between the teams at the most neutral of Pennsylvania sites -- Beaver Stadium in State College -- has been rumored forever, but this is the first we've heard of an actual plan for the game like this.
There was talk previously of Penn State University, which owns the stadium, not allowing a hockey game to be played there because of the damage it could cause to the field. But come on. If they can play a game at Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park or Wrigley Field or Michigan Stadium, they can play a game at Penn State.
Hopefully this happens, and if it's coming from Shawn Tilger -- who acts as the Flyers' VP of Business Stuff™ (official title) -- it's at least in the works. And obviously the Flyers have pull at the league level. Only question remaining: Would this be the New Years' Day Winter Classic game, or just a lesser event as part of the Stadium Series? You'd think the NHL (and NBC) would want Flyers-Penguins in its signature event on January 1, but I guess we'll see what happens.