I know that the NHL has to consider its players and if cold temperatures would add to the risk of injury. Those concerns are valid, but playing an outdoor game in February shouldn't be a problem.
Winnipeg will be a great host for this type of game. The locals love the game, are friendly, and the culture in the town is top rate. Winnipeg has world-class restaurants, top-notch theaters and other cultural events that would make a weekend stay an enjoyable one, even in winter.
Winnipeg natives would embrace the game and the atmosphere would be incredible. Hockey comes first, and having a game in an atmosphere that many there grew up playing in would be a thrill of a lifetime for them.
Think I’m kidding about the quality of theaters in Winnipeg? Winnipeg’s MTC Centre recently received Royal designation by the Queen. That's quite an honor to be given by the Queen, and places the MTC among a shortlist to have received such an honor.
You may be asking me, "Why would I care about theater when I’m attending a hockey event?" There are two reasons why. The first has to do with the possibility that you may be traveling with your significant other or family. They might be interested in more than just hockey. Winnipeg offers you a great night out. You can start with a nice dinner and then attend a high quality theater.
The second reason is that there is no reason why hockey fans aren't able to also enjoy cultural events. New Yorkers love hockey and enjoy the some of the world's best culture. Minnesotans love their hockey as well and they enjoy some of the best theater in the country. Why limit yourself? Enjoy everything that a city has to offer.
Winnipeg also has an annual winter festival called the Festival Du Voyageur, which is a 10-day event that occurs in February. If the Heritage Classic were to be held in February, they should consider holding it when the Festival Du Voyageur takes place. That would provide visitors to Winnipeg with another quality event to keep them busy.
The fact that February temperatures are conducive to an outdoor game, Winnipeggers love their hockey and its traditions, and the fact that Winnipeg has much more to offer than just hockey provides a good argument as to why the NHL should award a future Heritage Classic to the city of Winnipeg.