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Winter Classic still special to Blackhawks

Updated: February 3, 2012 8:14AM



Patrick Kane considered it unfortunate that he won’t be able to see much of the Winter Classic between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers on Monday afternoon.

The Blackhawks forward has his own game to prepare and rest for against the Edmonton Oilers at the United Center. But Kane understands the significance of the Winter Classic, which gets solid TV ratings, boosts local economies and now comes with its own HBO series.

In the second Winter Classic, the Hawks hosted the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley in 2009, losing 6-4.

Detroit is considered a leading candidate to host the annual game soon — possibly next year — with Comerica Park or the University of Michigan’s “Big House” reportedly as possible venues. The Hawks would be a natural opponent.

“It’s a great event,” Kane said. “It’s something that’s great for the sport. Hopefully, one day we can play in it again.”

Despite falling to the Red Wings, coach Joel Quenneville said the whole experience was unforgettable.

“Across the board, everybody thought it was the thrill of a lifetime, and it was probably one of the cooler days or games of their lives,” Quenneville said. “Despite losing, I think everybody looks back on that day and has a great memory.”

Slap shots

Defenseman Steve Montador missed practice Sunday and is questionable against the Oilers with an upper-body injury. Montador played through the injury last week.

Rookie center Marcus Kruger (concussion) hasn’t resumed on-ice activities. “[But] he’s still progressing,” Quenneville said.

◆ Goalie Corey Crawford will start his fifth consecutive game.



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