Part of Classic's charm: Mother Nature

Updated: December 31, 2009, 9:03 PM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

BOSTON -- These are the nervous hours for the NHL, the moments leading up to the Winter Classic when eyes are turned skyward and weather forecasts are close at hand and the threat of a winter disaster lurks in a drop of rain or flake of snow.

As much as the Winter Classic has become a staple on the NHL calendar, a monster event that has been far more successful than anyone could have imagined when the first one went off in snowy Buffalo two years ago, it will always come with a certain ...

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