That's not to say that outdoor hockey shouldn't be played during the regular season, though. The key is to set it up in a way that makes sense. It's my opinion that the best way to do it would be to try something that currently doesn't exist in the National Hockey League: TWO sheets of ice, one indoor and one outdoor, on the same property.
Before you dismiss me entirely, hear this idea out.
As it would be a new facility, a wise architect could design it such that the seating chart would be identical for the two sheets of ice - making ticket sales easier. If the two rinks were adjacent, you could even have skyboxes looking out on both sides to save money and increase the unique quality of the facility. Parking would be shared for both sheets of ice, as would rink maintenance equipment like refridgeration and zambonis. I gather that Edmonton is looking closely at the Columbus Arena District as a model, and such a district with both indoor and outdoor rinks would be totally unique and a true destination for the Edmonton community.
I'm sure that there's much more to think through, and this idea is about as likely as real health care reform in America, but it's fun to consider...and I blog for the fun of it. So whaddya think? Would this not be a cool idea for the NHL?