OTTAWA -- Clarke MacArthur is really looking forward to finally playing his first NHL outdoor game with the Ottawa Senators.
Forgive him, though, if he doesn't bank on it until he actually sets his skates on the ice Mar. 2 at BC Place, when the Vancouver Canucks play host to Ottawa in the 2014 Tim Hortons Heritage Classic.
MacArthur has come too close in the past only to see his hopes dashed, not once, but twice.
The Senators left wing holds former Buffalo Sabres teammate Maxim Afinogenov accountable for his first missed opportunity to play outdoors in 2008, when Buffalo welcomed the Pittsburgh Penguins to Ralph Wilson Stadium in the inaugural Winter Classic.
"Yeah, I got sent down the day before that game, and called up the day after that game," MacArthur said Thursday after the Senators unveiled their 2014 Heritage Classic uniforms. "Afinogenov had like a groin injury, or a 'so-called' groin injury, so he ended up playing in that game, and then I came back the next game."
Instead of soaking in the one-of-a-kind atmosphere in person, MacArthur watched the game on TV as Penguins captain Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal on Ryan Miller in a shootout.
"I'm like, 'Wow, what a cool experience,'" MacArthur said. "And it started snowing, and it was just, for the guys that were in that game, you take that picture and the whole ordeal, it was pretty neat.
"Yeah, I would have loved to have been there, even just to be up to do the warmups and be a part of the whole thing would have been nice, but that wasn't the way it went down, so hopefully this is the one."