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FLYING FISH, SIT MIX-A-LOT, AND A FLY RESCUE: THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC HAD AT ALL

January 1 means a lot of things. It’s the start of a new year which means a fresh start (and if you hail from Pennsylvania Dutch country as I do, a very lousy meal of pork and sauerkraut), bowl games, and, of course, the NHL Winter Classic.


This year the NHL’s marquee regular season event — the 39th regular season outdoor game — went in the win column for the home team. The Kraken are on fire as of late, and the reigning Stanley Cup champions couldn’t figure out Seattle netminder Joey Daccord.


That left the home fans happy, and basking in the Winter Classic glory,


However, the shenanigans started before the game, with both teams arriving in special getups for the occasion. That’s a newer tradition that is fun now but will probably get old within a couple of years, but let’s enjoy it while we can, shall we?


The Kraken showed up dressed as a bunch of fishmongers. Very Seattle.


Meanwhile, the Golden Knights paid tribute to their city. Did anyone order a busload of Elvis’?


That’s Sir Mix-A-Lot To You!


Obviously, there was some serious local flavor this year. In addition to the heavily themed rink and field surrounding it (I can’t get enough of the Kraken tentacles pulling a ship into the briny deep) there were all kinds of performances, appearances, and specials details that were tips of the cap to the Emerald City.


And what is the most Seattle way to make an entrance? Well, I would’ve said it would involve being escorted by some rainbow-haired Starbucks baristas while Pearl Jam plays “Even Flow” in front of a video screen playing scenes from Frasier.


But they didn’t ask me, so having the Kraken walk out past sockeye-flinging fishmongers to the dulcet tones of Sir Mix-A-Lot works too.


No, Sir Mix-A-Lot (was he really knighted?) did not treat the crowd to some “Baby Got Back.”

Bummer.


Still, what a moment. That was followed by a rendition of the National Anthem that would be enough to fire anyone up. 14-year-old Nikhil Bagga treated the crowd to a “Star-Spangled Banner” that sure seemed like a nod to Seattle native Jimi Hendrix.




Hilariously, they had a sign-language interpreter on hand… but does that just mean she played air guitar for two minutes?


Vince Dunn Rings In The New Year By Saving A Fly’s Life At Winter Classic


I don’t know what Seattle Kraken defenceman Vince Dunn’s New Year’s resolution is. If it’s to be named PETA’s Man of the Year, however, then he’s off to a hell of a start.


Between whistles, Dunn was on the ice while the rink crew was scraping up excess snow. That’s important for any game, especially outside, but Dunn noticed a six-legged spectator sitting in the shovel’s line of fire.


As helpless as a damsel in distress tied to train tracks by a mustachioed silent movie villain.

So that’s when Dunn sprang into action.


I’m guessing that fly was dead already, but good looking out from Dunn either way.


Maybe it was stunned by the cold, or perhaps the awesome power of the main riff of Seattle rock legends Heart’s “Barracuda.”


Yes, Hear performed as well.


It’s amazing how the Winter Classic pretty much always delivers. Yeah, it was 3-0, but it was 3-0 thanks to an incredible goaltending performance from Daccord.


Welp, same time next year? The league has yet to announce where the 2025 Winter Classic will be played (although that should happen soon) but it’ll surely deliver once again.


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