BOSTON (CBS) – Billy Jaffe of NESN joined the Toucher and Rich show and gave us all perspective what it was like covering the NHL Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, Michigan on New Year’s Day.
A Wolverine alum himself, Jaffe said the atmosphere at Michigan Stadium was unlike anything he’s ever seen.
However, Jon Wallach can’t help but feel like the NHL is “watering down” the Winter Classic with the Stadium Series bringing outdoor games to other cities – six games in total in 2014 including the Classic.
“I’m not sure about how these games are going to play out, and I don’t know if the NHL is sure how these are going to play out,” said Jaffe Thursday morning.
Jaffe pointed out that, coming out of the lockout especially, that the NHL is trying different avenues to generate revenue, and that this is somewhat of a trial period.
He doesn’t expect six outdoor games every year like in 2014, but he wouldn’t be surprised to see the Winter Classic and one other game on a regular basis here on out.
As part of the Winter Classic festivities, the rosters of Team USA hockey for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia were announced. There were some big names left off the roster, most notably right winger Bobby Ryan – which Jaffe called “a big surprise.”
This is a team that was one goal away from winning the gold medal in Vancouver just four years ago, so what are Team USA’s chances like now?
“I don’t look at this team now and feel like they are gold medal game worthy. I just don’t,” said Jaffe.
“I look at Sweden and think they could be very good. Canada will be very good again. Russia will be an interesting team to watch, and I think the U.S. is going to really have to do something special to get to that gold medal game again.”
Lastly, it wouldn’t be a Billy Jaffe interview without talking Bruins, so the season-ending injury to defenseman Dennis Seidenberg was brought up.
How will the Bruins fare without Seidenberg? Should they make a move to counter his absence?
“Seidenberg [in the playoffs] plays a lot of heavy-duty minutes in crunch time and makes guys around him better. Zdeno Chara loves playing with him, and not many teams can say they’ve got two horses back on the blue line.”
“Yes the Bruins have depth, but this is a big loss.”
As far as whether or not the Bruins should make a trade, Jaffe isn’t sure the Bruins will go that route just yet.
He believes there isn’t much out there on the market at the moment, and that the organization wants to see what they have in their young defensemen before doing anything by the deadline.
“They want to see how they handle it, but they will not be afraid to make a move.”
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