In a press release, Ottawa Senators president Cyril Leeder has announced the the Sens will reveal a major contribution to Ottawa's celebration of the 150th anniversary of Canada in 2017. The announcement will take place Monday, July 6th at 1 P.M. at Sens House in the Byward Market. Leeder will be joined by Ottawa mayor Jim Watson and the board in charge of Ottawa 2017 in making the announcement.
Although no further details were released, it is expected the the announcement concerns an outdoor game between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens at Lansdowne Park. This Heritage Classic would also help to celebrate the NHL's centennial, as the first game in league history took place in December 1917 between the Sens and Habs. Mayor Watson met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in October about the possibility of Ottawa hosting an outdoor game to celebrate these milestones. As recently as the end of April, Bettman stated that he liked the idea of an outdoor game in Ottawa in 2017.
Back in 2012, our own Peter Raaymakers commented on a report that said the Sens were proposing an outdoor game against the Habs at Lansdowne. We were all pretty excited even back then. Today, I'm very excited about the idea of this game being "only" two-and-a-half years away. I don't see why the league wouldn't do it - it would get tonnes of positive press, and would generate a lot of money. The proximity of Ottawa to Montreal would only help to convince the NHL of how much of a windfall this game could be.
As pointed out in the Metro article linked above, the only problem is that the NHL does not reveal outdoor games this far in advance. Games are typically announced only a year before they take place. It's quite possible that the Sens and the city are simply revealing their plans to push the NHL on this. Still, I see no reason why this event would not take place. Silver Seven will keep you posted as further developments come. Hope to see you all in 2017!
Does this make you excited?
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