NEW YORK -- On October 6, NHL® corporate partners including Molson Canadian, Scotiabank, XM, Canadian Tire, Visa, Bridgestone, EA Sports and Reebok will help lead The Forks' conversion into hockey central for the 2011 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off™, offering fans family-friendly and free interactive games, giveaways, live game broadcasts on giant video boards, prizes and other unique experiences, including free trips to the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa.
"We're excited to drop the puck of our new season in the city that signifies new and exciting things to come for the NHL with the return to the great city of Winnipeg," said Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President of Marketing at the NHL. "It's great to be able to provide our partners with a launchpad event to welcome back hockey as they build out consumer promotions and hockey-themed marketing campaigns for the 2011-12 NHL season."
From 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. CT, the 2011 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off™ at The Forks will offer the ultimate hockey experience for fans in Winnipeg, including appearances by Jets' team captain Andrew Ladd and teammates Zach Bogosian, Tanner Glass, Ron Hainsey, Jim Slater, and Mark Stuart. There also will be performances from international rock legends Bachman & Turner, platinum-selling rockers Three Days Grace and Winnipeg-born rock band Inward Eye.
Among the free activities available to fans:
Synthetic Ice Rink: Youth hockey players from Scotiabank and Canadian Tire sponsored teams, along with a local chapter of H.E.R.O.S., will demonstrate their skills on a synthetic rink.
Throughout the day, fans will learn more about Canadian Tire NHL Junior Skills™, a new national youth hockey competition that provides a platform for minor hockey players to test their skills against others in their age and gender divisions. Officially launching on October 7 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canadian Tire NHL Junior Skills™ consists of 15 qualifying events across Canada now through December 2011. The strongest contenders from each division will compete in the Canadian Tire NHL Junior Skills™ National Championship in January during the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend in Ottawa. The Canadian Tire NHL Junior Skills™ Qualifying Event comes to Winnipeg on November 5. Novice, Atom and Peewee boy and girl youth hockey players can register to participate at www.canadiantirehockeyschool.ca/nhljuniorskills.
EA Sports' NHL® 12 Game Center: Gamers can try their hand at the top-selling EA SPORTS™ NHL®12 on six PlayStation®3 computer entertainment systems.
Molson Canadian Hockey House: Fans 18 years or older can visit this special hospitality spectator area for live game broadcasts, cold beer and other entertainment.
NHL Network™: Fans can check out what new and exciting programs the NHL Network has to offer this season. Foam pucks will be available.
Reebok Locker Room: Four locker rooms will showcase the latest Reebok equipment and feature two hockey interactive exhibits. Inspired by Sidney Crosby's favorite childhood pastime of shooting pucks into the dryer in the basement of his family home, fans can test their accuracy skills for a chance to win prizes. A Reebok street hockey rink will be set up for fans young and old that can grab a stick and ball for some street hockey action.
Scotiabank High Five Zone: As Canada's Hockey Bank, Scotiabank will offer fans the opportunity to 'High Five' their handprint on a special tribute board and enter into Scotiabank's national "High Five Your Way to the NHL All-Star Game" contest for a chance to win tickets to the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa. Fans who visit the Scotiabank High Five Zone can also have the chance to win game tickets, an autographed NHL jersey and receive a special High Five foam hand to help celebrate the spirit from the Forks. Additionally, musical performances will ignite the crowd live from the Scotiabank Stage.
Visa Autograph Kiosk: From 3:00-6:00 p.m. CT, Visa cardholders will be eligible to receive autographs from current NHL players and other giveaways. NHL players scheduled to appear are: Jim Slater (3:00-3:45pm), Tanner Glass (4:00pm-4:45pm), Ron Hainsey (4:45pm-5:30pm) and Andrew Ladd (5:30pm-6:15pm). Participating players and scheduled times are subject to change.
XM's Hardest Shot Interactive: Fans can try their hand at the Hardest Shot booth to enter for a chance to win an XM Xpress RCI Satellite Radio or an AudioVox Universal Boombox with a year of service. Giveaways also will be available.
Winnipeg Jets Merchandise Tents: Officially licensed Winnipeg Jets hats, t-shirts, hoodies, and other novelties will be available in two locations throughout The Forks.
Official After Party: Popular Winnipeg nightclub Whiskey Dix will host the official 2011 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off after party. Tickets to the after party are $10 each and will be available for purchase at the door.
Coverage of the Opening Night
CBC's pre-game show, Scotiabank Hockey Tonight, hosted by Ron MacLean from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, will cover the opening of a new hockey season live on location from Winnipeg, Toronto and Vancouver, airing nationally at 6:30 pm ET. The one and only Don Cherry returns for the new season with a much-anticipated edition of Coach's Corner, airing live from Toronto during the first intermission of the Canadiens-Leafs game.
VERSUS will offer live look-ins to the festivities in Winnipeg from its set in Boston for the Bruins® home opener against the Philadelphia Flyers® at TD Garden and its Stamford, Conn. Studio. VERSUS' coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. during its pre-game show.
NHL Network's coverage of Opening Night will commence at 3 p.m. ET from its set in Boston and will be on the scene in Winnipeg and in Vancouver for the Canucks-Pittsburgh Penguins® game at Rogers Arena, wrapping its coverage at 7 p.m. ET. NHL Network's post-game show will feature highlights from Opening Night, including the banner-raising in Boston and the 2011 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off™ in Winnipeg.
For the latest news on 2011 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off, visit NHL.com/ faceoff, twitter.com/NHL and facebook.com/NHL. Fans in attendance in Winnipeg and tuning in on CBC, VERSUS and NHL Network™ can follow the season-opening celebration on Twitter via the hashtag #NHLFaceOff.