NEW YORK -- With just under two weeks until the puck drops at the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, the countdown to the much-anticipated outdoor match-up between the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames at 4 p.m. MT (6 p.m. ET) on Feb. 20 continues.
A celebration of hockey's rich outdoor history and proud Canadian heritage, the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic is the first NHL® regular season game contested outdoors in Canada since the Edmonton Oilers hosted the Canadiens at the first Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium on November 22, 2003. More than 40,000 fans are expected to be in attendance at McMahon Stadium, the home to the Canadian Football League's Calgary Stampeders on the University of Calgary campus.
On Feb. 20, CBC and RDS will carry the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic live in Canada and VERSUS will telecast the outdoor match in the United States. In addition to the standard and HD telecasts, the game is being distributed in next-generation 3D in Canada via CBC and in the U.S. via VERSUS. On radio, Calgary's Fan 960, Montreal's CJAD (English) and CKAC (French) and Sirius XM's NHL Home Ice XM 204 and Sirius 208 (with Best of XM package in the US, only) will have all of the coverage around North America. NHL Network™ and NHL.com will provide extensive pre- and post-game programming.
The League, in collaboration with CBC, RDS and VERSUS, has launched the national advertising campaign to celebrate the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic. In the 30-second commercial, which is now airing throughout Canada and the U.S., the camera captures the serene and cinematic scene of a Canadian pond as Canadian actor and icon Gordon Pinsent recites portions of the Heinz Ross poem, "Alive in All We Are."
In anticipation of the Feb. 20 game, the NHL today unveiled the cover artwork for the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic program. Designed by Canadian visual artist David Arrigo, who is known for his sports and hockey-themed work and helmet art, the program cover art pays homage to the storied Canadiens and Flames franchises and hockey's deep-seeded roots on the ponds of Canada. Destined to become a collector's item for hockey fans everywhere, the 104-page 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic official game program will be available for sale at Spectator Plaza and inside the McMahon Stadium during the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic with a $10 (CDN) cover price.
On Feb. 1, the world's largest mobile rink refrigeration unit - the custom-built, 53-foot truck that houses the specialized equipment that will be used to make the rink at McMahon Stadium - began its 3,500 km journey to Calgary with a special fan event in Toronto and will continue with stops at Canadian Tire locations in Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon and Edmonton from Feb. 5-9. The 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic Truck Tour presented by Canadian Tire will culminate in Calgary on Feb. 9.
Beginning Feb. 10, fans can follow the entire rink-build process through interactive features, including live streaming and time-lapse video footage on NHL.com. Also, NHL Radio and NHL Network will have extensive coverage in the days leading up to the event. The first media availability at McMahon Stadium will take place in the afternoon of Feb. 10 as the ice pan installation begins.
On Feb. 19, the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames will practice for the first time at McMahon Stadium. Also on Feb. 19, Spectator Plaza, an outdoor hockey and entertainment festival outside McMahon Stadium for fans of all ages with live musical performances, interactive hockey-themed attractions, prizing and giveaways, food, beverage and merchandise tents, will open to the public. The two-day festival will be open from Noon - 6 p.m. (M.S.T.) on Feb. 19 and from Noon until game time on Feb. 20.
The day will be capped when Flames from the 1989 Stanley Cup winning team will meet a group of Canadiens alumni in an outdoor game Saturday at McMahon Stadium at 4:30pm (M.S.T). Flames favorites scheduled to play in the event include Lanny McDonald, Gary Roberts, Joe Nieuwendyk, Mike Vernon, Joel Otto and more. The Canadiens lineup is scheduled to boast the likes of Guy Carbonneau, Bob Gainey, Russ Courtnall, Craig Ludwig and many others. Tickets are on sale now.
In all, the "Faceoff in the Foothills" will feature four games; the Flames AHL affiliate the Abbotsford Heat versus the Edmonton Oilers' AHL team the Oklahoma City Barons at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday, Feb. 18, the Alumni Outdoor Game on Saturday, Feb. 19, followed by the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic on Sunday, Feb. 20. The weekend will conclude with a WHL game featuring the Calgary Hitmen hosting the Regina Pats at McMahon Stadium at 1 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 21.