After a bit of a delay in finalizing things, the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens made it official on Friday. The two teams will meet outdoors in primetime next season on Dec. 16 at TD Place in Ottawa.
The game, which won’t be labeled a “Heritage Classic,” but instead be known as the “NHL 100 Classic,” will be celebrating the following:
• NHL’s Centennial
• 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup
• Canada’s 150th year of Confederation
• Senators’ 25th anniversary
The Senators have been trying to lock down an outdoor game for several years now with the target date being around Dec. 19, 2017, which is the 100th anniversary of the first NHL game. The grand idea originally by the team and mayor was to setup a rink on Parliament Hill, but too many factors such as security, space and seating issues prevented that dream from becoming a reality.
It’ll be a busy winter for TD Place. Three weeks before the Heritage Classic matchup will be the 105th edition of the Grey Cup. Since the venue is hosting the CFL’s title game, it will expand to 34,000 seats, up from 24,000, with those seats remaining for when the NHL takes over.
This will be the first time the Senators have hosted an outdoor game and second appearance in one following their 2014 Heritage Classic victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The Canadiens have yet to host an outdoor game and have played the role of visitor in two previous Heritage Classics, including the inaugural event in 2003, as well as the 2016 Winter Classic in Boston.
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