NHL announces third outdoor game as Maple Leafs to face Sabres in Heritage Classic

Another outdoor game on tap this season.

heritage classic
Dec 17, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (26) crashes into the net behind goalie Linus Ullmark (35) after Toronto Maple Leafs forward Austin Matthews (34) scores a goal in the second period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Late last month, rumors began to surface the league was working on an outdoor game.

The NHL revealed Thursday that the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres will square off outside at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ontario on March 13 next season.

“We are excited to announce that we will be presenting another Tim Hortons Heritage Classic this season,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.

“When the Toronto Maple Leafs meet the Buffalo Sabres at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, we again will honor Canada’s preeminent role in the history of our game while renewing a great and longstanding NHL rivalry.”

Heritage Classic Confirmed

It will be the sixth Heritage Classic game and first to feature a team from the U.S. It’s also the third outdoor game announced for next season and the 35th in league history.

The other two games are the Winter Classic (Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues at Target Field in Minneapolis on Jan. 1) and the Stadium Series (Nashville Predators vs. Tampa Bay Lightning at Nissan Stadium on Feb. 26).

Toronto has gone 2-1-0 in three outdoor games.

leafs sabres outdoors
Dec 17, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel (9) and Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) take a faceoff in the third period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

“The Toronto Maple Leafs are proud to participate in the 2022 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic,” Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said. “We’re excited at the opportunity to play outdoors again and to bring this great divisional rivalry outside in front of our two devoted fanbases in Hamilton.”

Buffalo is 0-0-2 in outdoor games.

“It’s an honor to play in the Heritage Classic game,” Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said. “It will be an incredible atmosphere and we are thrilled to be able to play the Maple Leafs in this special event. Many of us fell in love with hockey while playing on the pond or in backyards, so this will give us a chance to get back to our roots while celebrating the game of hockey.”

–Field Level Media