NEW YORK -- – Representatives from the National Hockey League, the Calgary Flames and the Montreal Canadiens met Wednesday at Calgary’s McMahon Stadium in advance of the 2011 NHL Heritage Classic™, the regular-season outdoor game to be played Sunday, February 20, 2011. The League, the Flames and the Canadiens today also unveiled the game-day jerseys specially designed for each team for the event.
The 2011 NHL Heritage Classic marks the first regular-season NHL game contested outdoors in Canada since the Edmonton Oilers hosted the Canadiens at Commonwealth Stadium on November 22, 2003. CBC and RDS will carry the game in Canada and VERSUS will telecast the outdoor match in the United States. NHL Radio™ will have the live action across North American radio. NHL Network™ will provide pre- and post-game programming, and NHL.com will provide extensive digital coverage.
"The Flames and Canadiens, two teams with so much history, will resume a rivalry that is so much a part of the National Hockey League’s proud heritage. Our first regular-season outdoor game was played in Canada, and we're excited to be coming back for the 2011 NHL Heritage Classic at McMahon Stadium Feb. 20," said Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the National Hockey League.
The Flames and Canadiens are the only clubs to have contested an all-Canadian Stanley Cup Final in the 40-plus years of the NHL's expansion era (since 1968), doing so twice in a four-season span. The Canadiens captured their 23rd Stanley Cup by defeating the Flames in five games in 1985-86 and the Flames won their first and only Stanley Cup in a six-game triumph over the Canadiens in 1988-89.
Both clubs boast a strong cross-country following and own long home sellout streaks. The Canadiens have drawn capacity crowds at Bell Centre for each of their past 248 regular-season and playoff games since January 2004, while the Flames have posted 230 consecutive sellouts at Pengrowth Saddledome since April 2004. These two teams will have one match-up prior to the 2011 NHL Heritage Classic when the Canadiens host the Flames on January 17th.
“The Calgary Flames are honoured to be hosting the Heritage Classic at McMahon Stadium. Calgary and Montreal have a storied past having faced each other in two Stanley Cup finals and we are pleased to be able to restore that rivalry on this grand stage with an outdoor game,” said Ken King, President and CEO Calgary Flames. “The Flames organization, the city of Calgary and Flames fans everywhere are very excited about this very special event highlighted by the opportunity to see NHL action in a classic winter setting.”
“The entire Montreal Canadiens organization is thrilled to be part of this exciting event. We look forward to this celebration of hockey on Canadian soil and welcome the opportunity to revive our longtime rivalry with the Calgary Flames,” said Pierre Boivin, President of the Montreal Canadiens. “We had the privilege of playing in the first Heritage Classic, back in 2003, and we are pleased and honoured to have been invited for this outdoor showdown at McMahon Stadium.”
“CBC is extremely proud to broadcast the NHL Heritage Classic," said Scott Moore, Executive Director, CBC Sports and General Manager of Media Sales and Marketing. “CBC's Hockey Night in Canada was there when Edmonton hosted the first Heritage Classic in 2003, and we're excited to be headed to Calgary this time around. It promises to be a memorable evening for fans of the Flames, the Canadiens and Canadian hockey fans across the country.”
“The Winter Classic has become a highly anticipated annual event and we’re excited to be able to televise the NHL’s first outdoor game on cable with the Heritage Classic,” said Jamie Davis, President of VERSUS. “Each season we try to find different ways to deepen our NHL coverage. Last year we added several games following the Olympic break and extended coverage throughout the playoffs, leading to record postseason viewership. Broadcasting the Heritage Classic is another example of how we work very closely with the NHL to further super-serve hockey fans.”
“RDS was proud to provide thousands of hockey fans with the opportunity to witness this historic event back in 2003, broadcasting the first NHL regular season outdoor game, as the Edmonton Oilers hosted the Montreal Canadiens at Commonwealth Stadium,” said Domenic Vanelli, Vice President of Production at RDS. “The entire RDS broadcast team has fond memories of this outstanding event and we look forward to, once again, bring all the excitement of the Heritage Classic featuring the Flames and Canadiens from McMahon Stadium to our viewers.”
The Flames will wear a fusion design jersey honoring the history of professional hockey in Calgary for the 2011 NHL Heritage Classic at McMahon Stadium on February 20, 2011 versus the Montreal Canadiens.
The Calgary Tigers helped form the Western Canada Hockey League in 1921 to become the first major professional team in Calgary. The Tigers competed a total of eleven seasons in four leagues, winning four championships during their existence.
The Flames worked with the design team at Reebok to create the vintage look. The jersey features the same jersey striping pattern with a beige Flames C logo in a vintage felt application. The uniform is a deeper red color with gold stripes and will include the 2011 NHL Heritage Classic logo patch on the front.
Montreal will wear their current away (white) jersey which will also contain the 2011 NHL Heritage Classic patch on the front, right chest. Modifications to the player numbers on the jersey will reflect the numbering color combinations worn on their white jerseys throughout their history, specifically how the numbers appeared during both the 1986 and 1989 Stanley Cup Final series against the Calgary Flames.
2011 NHL Heritage Classic jerseys for both Calgary and Montreal will be available for pre-orders now through Shop.NHL.com, calgaryflames.com and montrealcanadiens.com.
The NHL Heritage Classic jerseys were designed by Reebok, the Official Outfitter of the NHL®, who collaborated with both teams to create two jerseys that are unique and true to the histories and traditions of the clubs.
Additional information surrounding the 2011 NHL Heritage Classic, including ticketing information, will be announced in the coming months. Fans can register online at www.nhl.com to receive alerts and ticket information on the 2011 NHL Heritage Classic, as well as other NHL news, events and offers. The NHL will again work with the host team, the Flames, to set aside tickets specifically for use by local youth hockey organizations.
Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins will battle Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals on New Year’s Day in a regular-season game at Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, at 1 p.m. ET. The 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will mark the fourth consecutive season the NHL has played a regular-season outdoor game on New Year’s Day. The Buffalo Sabres hosted the Penguins at Ralph Wilson Stadium on New Year’s Day 2008, the Chicago Blackhawks hosted the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field on New Year’s Day 2009 and the Boston Bruins hosted the Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park on New Year’s Day 2010.