The next search for Canada's most passionate hockey community starts Friday, Nov. 18, as Canadians can begin nominating their community to be chosen as Kraft Hockeyville 2012.
The winning town receives $100,000 in arena upgrades courtesy of Kraft Canada; a 2012-13 NHL preseason game played in their local community arena; and a special broadcast of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada broadcast from their community.
Four runner-up communities will receive $25,000 each for arena upgrades from Kraft Canada.
The nomination phase closes Jan. 31, 2012.
New this year is an expanded cross-country campaign that will see five additional spots for community finalists as well as an early-bird prize of $10,000 worth of hockey equipment for a local minor hockey association. Communities that enter before Dec. 16 and complete the early-bird entry submission qualify for the early-bird prize.
In addition, Hockeyville fans can extend their involvement through a series of virtual trophies, generated by online activities, including uploading stories, photos and completing other community-based tasks on Krafthockeyville.ca. There are five virtual trophies to collect in total.
To enter Kraft Hockeyville 2012, Canadians must register at Krafthockeyville.ca, complete a simple application form to nominate their community, and submit a story that focuses on originality, community spirit and passion for hockey (maximum 4,000 characters). Canadians also will have the opportunity to show their support by sharing photos and videos. The top 15 communities chosen to compete for the Kraft Hockeyville 2012 title will be revealed on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday, March 3, 2012. Canadians then will be able to vote for the top five communities on March 4-5. The top five communities will be announced March 17, 2012, with a final voting stage March 18-19. The winner will be revealed March 31, 2012.
"Kraft Hockeyville is a truly unique event and the NHL is excited to continue to support this great initiative," said Brian Jennings, NHL executive vice president of marketing. "It annually showcases community pride and embraces our fans' love of the game with the ultimate prize -- an NHL preseason game played in their community and better accommodations for future generations of hockey players."
Other partners in the competition are Kraft Canada, CBC, and the National Hockey League Players' Association.
It was a big dream. [Messi] is probably the best athlete out there, so it's a big honor, for [Kuznetzov] as well. It's maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the best player in soccer right now. I'm a big Barcelona fan and Messi fan, so it's huge. You can take [Michael] Jordan, [Mark] Messier, [Wayne] Gretzky, those kinds of [people]. It's an honor to meet. It's nice to be in that position.
— Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin told told Monumental Network after meeting soccer star Lionel Messi prior to Argentina's practice at Fed Ex Field in Landover, Md. on Friday