With Gary Bettman visiting Ottawa, the team and the league finally announced one of the worst kept secrets in town - the Ottawa Senators will host the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL 100 Classic on Saturday, December 16th at TD Place.
Somewhat of a rarity for the outdoor NHL games, this will be an evening game.
The timing is nearly perfect. From the local standpoint, it is the team's 25th anniversary, and Canada's 150th birthday. On the league side of the coin, it helps mark the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup itself, and the first NHL game ever played was between the Canadiens and the first incarnation of the Senators 100 years ago, almost to the day.
It’s been a bit of a twisting and turning road to get here. There was talk of this game happening as far back as 2012. Things got really interesting when the idea of holding the game on Parliament Hill was first floated in 2015. When the team put forward a position that could basically be summed up as “Parliament Hill or Bust”, we were left wondering if they were actually willing to consider a Plan B when the Hill fell through. Well, it turns out that (thankfully) somebody considered TD Place as an option.
Temporary seating installed for the Grey Cup three weeks before will expand the capacity of TD Place, expected to be somewhere between 34,000 and 35,000.
There are a lot of details yet to be revealed, such as ticket availability, how many organs you need to sell to afford a ticket, uniforms, alumni game and what else will be going on to surround it. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as those details are revealed. One thing we do know is that the Cup is expected to be in attendance that night.
The announcement today also included the Government of Canada designating the Stanley Cup as an Event of National Historic Significance, joining the Grey Cup which received this designation in 2012.