Crews turn Soldier Field grass into Blackhawks ice for Saturday's Hawks-Penguins Stadium Series game in Chicago. Tune in at 6 p.m. Saturday on NBC 5. Time-lapse video courtesy NHL.com.
One of the constant concerns that the NHL has about contesting games outdoors is what Mother Nature will have in store for them.
Whether it’s snow (Buffalo, Ann Arbor), rain (Pittsburgh) or bitter cold (New York), the league has experienced all elements when it comes to playing games outside, and Saturday’s game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins will be no exception.
According to weather forecasts, the game time temperature will be somewhere around 20 degrees, with a wind chill in the single digits. There is also a 70 percent chance of snow when the puck drops at 7 p.m., so the game could quickly become yet another one in the pantheon of inclement weather classics that the league has staged.
In that vein, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told the media on Friday that the league would be prepared to cancel the game if weather conditions made the contest “unsafe.”
“It would have to be unsafe, either too cold in terms of medical concerns or if it was such that the ice wasn’t able to be kept appropriately so that it would be safe for the players,” he said in a press availability.
The Blackhawks and Penguins are both off for a few days after the game, so the contest would likely be rescheduled until Sunday or Monday in the event of cancellation, but Bettman didn’t specify in his remarks what the contingency plan would be if weather were to become a factor.
If you’re headed to Soldier Field on Saturday, make sure to stay tuned to NBC Chicago and NBCChicago.com for all the latest weather updates.