Ryan Whitney Discusses What It Was Like To Play in the First Ever NHL Winter Classic Back in 2008

On today's Pardon My Take, we talk some hockey! Recurring guest (and our co-worker) Ryan Whitney joined the show to discuss his relationship with Sidney Crosby, his golf game, his picks to win the Stanley Cup, and much more. With the NHL putting together an outdoor game over the weekend at Lake Tahoe, Mr. Cat and Mr. Commenter asked Whitney, a former Pittsburgh Penguin, what is was like to play in the NHL's first ever Winter Classic, back on January 1, 2008. Whitney, Crosby, and the Penguins took down the Buffalo Sabres 2-1, so what was that experience like for the Spittin' Chiclets host?

Mr. Cat: So if people maybe weren't paying attention this weekend, the Winter Classic is in Lake Tahoe this weekend. It's actually an incredible, incredible set-up, scenic views, picturesque. Like, if you close your eyes and said what an outdoor hockey, a perfect outdoor hockey game would look like, it was this setup. Unfortunately, the sun was out as it sometimes happens on Saturday during the day. And now, the NHL has done a bunch of outdoor games, Gary Bettman even said, "We've done everything. We played in snow, we played in rain. But sunshine has always been our enemy," and they had to delay the game. So do guys like playing these outdoor games or is it kind of old hat now?

Ryan Whitney: I'm kind of all over the map with this. I got a chance to play in the first one, not to make it about me, not a big deal. I got to play in the first one, it was nuts. It was Crosby scores the shootout winner, snowing, Buffalo, it was perfection how it went. Now as it went along and it went along, you know, The Classic, which is always New Year's Day. I actually think it's great because it's something different, guys do enjoy playing it, and it's right before like The Rose Bowl, it's a good time to have it.

Ryan Whitney: So, I think that's been great. The years have gone on where they started doing the series, the Winter Classic Series, where the teams are playing games. They did a game at Air Force, they've done a game in LA, they've kind of done them everywhere. So in a sense, I do feel bad chirping them for this mishap and what happened with Colorado-Vegas. But I mean, it's worked everywhere else. They did one in Dallas last year and it was sick. Dallas-Nashville, we were down there. So I know that, like, the planning sounds ridiculous, but it kind of was the perfect storm of sun to ruin the game.

Mr. Commenter: Day time.

Ryan Whitney: I think guys are probably enjoying getting to do it right now, because the year is so boring and they can't leave their hotels. At least this is something different. But I'm sure there's some guys that'll tell you, "Enough's enough. We've lost our course here on the outdoor game."

I think Mr. Cat is spot on about the scenic views that this game has the opportunity to provide. Even if you are not a hockey fan, if you are flipping through the channels on your TV, you will almost certainly stop it if you see something like this on your screen. It is unique and it looks like a lot of fun.