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Blackhawks' Erixon 'pretty pumped' for 2nd chance at Winter Classic

Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

The 2012 Winter Classic was supposed to be a highlight of Tim Erixon's inaugural season in the National Hockey League, a volatile stint with the New York Rangers that featured repeated trips between the Big Apple and Connecticut, home of the club's AHL affiliate.

An inopportune demotion, however, saw Erixon shipped to the minors just days before the contest, forcing the youngster to watch his team's eventual 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers from beyond the confines of Citizens Bank Park.

"I got sent down [a few days] before, so I never got to experience it," Erixon told's Brian Hedger. "It was my first year [in the NHL]. I got sent down right before the trip, the day before we were going to leave."

Erixon, though, will finally get to take part in the annual outdoor showdown after being traded to the Chicago Blackhawks by the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier this month, and the 24-year-old said he relishes the second chance to take part in the New Year's Day festivities. His new club will take on the Washington Capitals at Nationals Park on January 1.

"It was kind of disappointing [not to play in the 2012 Winter Classic], but that first year I was kind of going up and down quite a bit," Erixon said. "That would've been fun, but I guess I'll get to experience it this time. I'm pretty pumped to get a second swing at it."

Erixon, a first-round pick in the 2009 draft, has yet to log a point through three games with the Blackhawks, though his individual Corsi per game thus far exceeds that of fellow defensemen Johnny Oduya, Michal Rozsival and Niklas Hjalmarsson.

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