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by Ken Schott

Parting Schotts

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UPDATE: NHL Winter Classic comes to Fenway Park

In 1997, an event I thought I would never see in my lifetime took place when my Philadelphia Phillies played a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. I attended the first game of the series. Back then, the Phillies were awful. Before interleague play, tt would have taken a miracle to see the Phillies play at Fenway.

Well, I will be getting another thrill New Year’s Day. My Flyers are coming to Fenway!

Fenway Park and the Boston Bruins will host the third NHL Winter Classic. The Bruins will take on the Flyers.

Of course, my fondest memory of the Flyers-Bruins rivalry took place in May 1974, when the Flyers beat the Bruins in six games to win their first Stanley Cup. I was at the Spectrum the afternoon of Sunday, May 19, for Game 6, the Cup-clinching game. Kate Smith, the Flyers' good-luck charm, came out and sang "God Bless America." Rick MacLeish scored the game’s only goal, tipping an Andre "Moose" Dupont left-point wrist shot past goalie Gilles Gilbert late in the first period. Flyers goalie Bernie Parent made the lead stand up. And, as the final seconds ticked off, Flyers announcer Gene Hart's call said it all: "Orr shoots it down the ice...Parent makes the save. Ladies and gentlemen, the Flyers are going to win the Stanley Cup! The Flyers win the Stanley Cup! The Flyers win the Stanley Cup! The Flyers have won the Stanley Cup!"

I better ask for some time off to see the Winter Classic, don’t you think?

The NHL and NBC announced a two-year extension of their broadcast agreement. NBC will televise the NHL through the 2010-11 season. The first game will be the Winter Classic.

"The NHL/NBC partnership has been terrific. Our association has led to such technical innovations as the 'Inside the Glass' reporting and to such programming advancements as the extremely popular Winter Classic," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final was broadcast television's most-watched hockey game in 36 years, which makes clear the NHL and NBC are building an audience, are building momentum and are perfectly positioned to continue growing the game."

"We're thrilled to be able to continue our relationship with the NHL, and build on all the positive momentum on and off the ice, NBC Sports president Ken Schanzer said. "Together, we have attained viewership milestones not seen in more than three decades. And the Winter Classic, in just two years, has become one of the highlights of the sports calendar. We strongly believe this is a league that is poised for continued growth."

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