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Maple Leafs to play Capitals in outdoor game next year

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Is this the start of a new rivalry? Or just a chance to get some more Nylander - Backstrom interviews?

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Toronto Maple Leafs at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL is expected to announce this Monday, but the cat has escaped the bag. The Toronto Maple Leafs will play the Washington Capitals in an outdoor game at the Naval Academy in March of 2018.

Per the Washington Post, the game will be held in the football stadium with a capacity of 34,000, and will take place on March 3, 2018.

The average temperature in Washington for that date is a high of 54° and a low of 34°, which in Canadian funds is: 11° and 1°, so possibly quite chilly, but maybe a little less frigid than the last two outdoor excursions the Leafs have gone on.

While this seems exciting now, the March outdoor games are usually met with a chorus of, “What? Another one?” And the timing, just after the trade deadline, could be a little awkward as well.

In an interesting historical co-incidence the first recorded indoor hockey game was held on March 3 in 1875.