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2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - Canadiens vs. Bruins

Winter Classic rink build begins at Gillette Stadium

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Dan Craig, the man responsible for building the ice rink at Gillette Stadium that will host the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, has a vision of what the weather will be like when puck drop approaches on Jan. 1.

It was eerily similar to the weather blanketing the area Monday afternoon when the rink build for the began for the highly anticipated game between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens (1 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVAS) at the home of the NFL's New England Patriots.

"Absolutely perfect," he said, gesturing toward the sky when he walked through the tunnel onto the field to consult with the crew putting down a flooring base resting between the two 15-yard lines that will serve as a base for the rink to come in the next 72 hours.

Nate Ruess, American Authors, Jordan Smith and musicians from Boston Pops among NHL Winter Classic performers

NEW YORK – Grammy-award winning singer/songwriter Nate Ruess, alternative rock band American Authors, "The Voice" season 9 winner and recording artist Jordan Smith, and musicians from the Boston Pops are among the performers for the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, the New Year’s Day outdoor game between the Montreal Canadiens® and the Boston Bruins® at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., the National Hockey League announced today. The event will be broadcast live nationally on NBC in the U.S. and on Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada at 1 p.m. ET.

American Authors will open the game with a set featuring their hits, followed by Smith’s performance of the U.S. national anthem with accompaniment from musicians from the Boston Pops. Ruess will take the stage during the first intermission.

Patriots excited as Winter Classic preparations begin

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Hardcore fans of the New England Patriots, celebrating their team's 12th win of the season, remained scattered across the parking lots of Gillette Stadium on a brisk, but by no means frigid, Sunday night in New England while work crews from the National Hockey League took control of the building to begin the transformation toward the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

While the post-game tailgate festivities ended, when the snarled traffic along adjoining Route 1 abated, NHL employees worked throughout the night, putting down flooring and performing other set-up tasks to prepare the stadium for a rink-building process that will begin in earnest Monday in preparation of the Winter Classic between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens here on Jan. 1 (1 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

Winter Classic Legacy Project unveils renovated rink

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- Not even a torrential downpour could spoil the occasion at the newly renovated Bryan McGonagle Street Hockey Rink at Ryan Playground in Charlestown.

About a dozen young players from the Charlestown Boys and Girls Club ran around firing shots and passes from every angle, making use of the newly paved playing surface. In the light of the four new light poles and LED lighting fixtures, the state-of-the-art scoreboard, the new rink boards, goalie nets and rubber matting surrounding the rink glowed as the players splashed in the puddles and showed off their skills.

Road to the NHL Winter Classic to air worldwide

NHL Public Relations

Road to the NHL Winter Classic™ is a four-part series chronicling the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens as they prepare for the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® on New Year’s Day. Each one-hour episode of Road to the NHL Winter Classic™ will take an intimate, in-depth look at the lives, families and fans of the Bruins and Canadiens as they count down to their showdown at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA.

Viewers in the United States can watch the series via EPIX, EPIX.com, NHL.com and Bruins.NHL.com. Viewers in Canada can catch the series on Sportsnet and RDS. Click on the following links for complete broadcast details in the United States and Canada (SN / RDS).

'Road to Winter Classic' opens with tuneup game

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

At first glance, nothing was different about the usual routine of equipment staff unloading and unpacking bags belonging to players representing the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.

On the surface, it was another regular-season NHL game, but this was different. It was the 909th game in a rivalry that began on Dec. 8, 1924, and the final time the Canadiens and Bruins would compete before playing in the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

The first episode of "EPIX Presents Road to the NHL Winter Classic" opened explaining why every minute detail mattered before puck drop on Dec. 9 at Bell Centre. The way Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban put it, there are certain games circled during an 82-game season, and Montreal-Boston is one of them. Bruins forward Brad Marchand took it a step further: It's not just about earning two points against an Atlantic Division opponent. The intent is to not only win, but to embarrass them.

Winter Classic truck begins journey to Gillette Stadium

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- The truck for the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic arrived at the Montreal Canadiens suburban training facility Wednesday, the first stop on its journey from Toronto.

Next stop: Gillette Stadium.

The rink build will begin in Foxborough, Mass., on Monday, a day after the NFL's New England Patriots play the Tennessee Titans and surrender their home to the NHL for the New Year's Day game between the Canadiens and the Boston Bruins.

NBC broadcasters already excited for Winter Classic

David Satriano - NHL.com Fantasy Staff Writer

Mike "Doc" Emrick, who will call the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Jan. 1 (1 p.m. ET; NBC), said his favorite part about the annual event is the unpredictability.

"With the exception of Sidney Crosby (Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, 2008), there's no marquee [player] who [has ended] up being the hero," Emrick said Tuesday. "It was Jiri Hudler at Wrigley Field (Chicago, 2009), Marco Sturm at Fenway Park (Boston, 2010), Eric Fehr at Heinz Field (Pittsburgh, 2011), Mike Rupp in Philadelphia (Citizens Bank Park, 2012), Tyler Bozak in Ann Arbor (Michigan Stadium, 2014) and Troy Brouwer in Nationals Park (Washington, 2015), so that's another one of the unpredictable elements."

The player who scored the game-winner may end up being a surprise, but one thing that is all but guaranteed is there will be intensity in the 2016 game, which features two Original Six teams that have played one another more times in the regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs than any two other NHL teams.

Road trip looms for Canadiens before Winter Classic

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- The Montreal Canadiens are weeks away from playing in the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, but they will be taking an important step toward that New Year's Day game this week.

After the Canadiens host the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; CSN-CA, RDS, SNE) and the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, they will not play another home game until Jan. 6, when the New Jersey Devils visit Bell Centre.

The Canadiens will play eight straight games on the road starting Saturday at the NHL-leading Dallas Stars, though they will be returning to Montreal for the Christmas break and following the Winter Classic against the Boston Bruins at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 1.

NHL announces free fan attractions at 2016 NHL Winter Classic spectator plaza

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK – Fans of all ages are invited to join the National Hockey League® (NHL®) and its corporate partners at the 2016 NHL Winter Classic® Spectator Plaza. The free, two-day festival is open on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015 (11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET) and Friday, Jan. 1, 2016 (9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET) at Lot 22 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. All attractions are free, but fans must pay for parking to enter the grounds.

· Fans can power through the cold as BRIDGESTONE introduces new, extreme experiences that will test performance: get between the pipes and make a game-winning save; or challenge friends in EA Sports NHL 16. Fans will also have a chance to win shop.NHL.com gift cards.

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