Exactly 100 years later, the Next Century Game presented by Scotiabank will be played at Air Canada Centre at a special time of 2 p.m., and see the Toronto Maple Leafs face off against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Today, the club announced its plans in front of students from Market Lane Public School at the MLSE LaunchPad, a 42,000-square foot sport for-development facility located in Toronto's urban centre of Moss Park. The announcement, made by Brendan Shanahan, President and Alternate Governor, Toronto Maple Leafs, John Tory, Mayor of Toronto and John Doig, Chief Marketing Officer, Scotiabank outlined plans for which the team, and its generations of fans, will celebrate the occasion.
"The Next Century Game marks the culmination of a year of Maple Leafs Centennial Anniversary celebrations that paid tribute to the teams, the accomplishments and the memories of the first 100 years of Maple Leafs hockey," said Brendan Shanahan, President and Alternate Governor of the Toronto Maple Leafs. "We're now able to look ahead as we start to write the next great chapters in team history along with creating new generations of Leafs fans, which is an important part of this celebration."
As a special commemoration of the undeniable impact NHL hockey has had in Toronto, City of Toronto Mayor John Tory also announced that December 19, will officially be proclaimed Toronto Maple Leafs Day.
"The Maple Leafs are part of the heart and soul of our city, and this 100th birthday event is a perfect moment to come together to celebrate what they mean to us," said Mayor John Tory. "Generations of fans, young and old, are all excited about what the future holds for our Leafs and December 19 will be a moment that the team and fans alike are sure to remember for many years to come."
The excitement for December 19 will begin in September with a contest aimed at giving the youth of Leafs Nation access to the Next Century Game Presented by Scotiabank. Based on nominations from Leafs Nation members, the club will reward youth who embody the team's key pillars of Honour, Pride and Courage, with tickets to the 100th anniversary game. For more information about this initiative, fans are encouraged to sign up for LeafsNation.Club.
In addition each month will focus on a different pillar and will be a collaborative effort between MLSE LaunchPad and a valued community partner to celebrate amazing youth in our community.
"The Next Century Game will take place just a few weeks before the one-year anniversary of MLSE LaunchPad, serving as a valuable reminder of the positive impact that both the Maple Leafs, and this facility, have on our youth and this community," said Michael Friisdahl, MLSE President and CEO.
With the help of WE, a family of organizations making doing good, doable, September will focus on 'Honour', highlighting youth who volunteer and make a difference as leaders for those around them. In October, with MLSE LaunchPad and Scotiabank, the Leafs will promote 'Pride', rewarding youth who show pride in hockey, the Maple Leafs and their community. Lastly, with help from the Hospital for Sick Children, November will celebrate 'Courage' by recognizing youth who have demonstrated courage and remained strong in the face of adversity.
The club also unveiled the commemorative sweater the team will wear during the Next Century Game. As a tribute to its original name, the team will wear a sweater based on the Toronto Arenas sweater worn in their second season. The sweater will be available for purchase at the Toronto Maple Leafs store Powered by Real Sports Apparel or online at shop.realsports.ca starting in December. Fans looking to preorder the sweater can sign up at LeafsNation.Club or download the Toronto Maple Leafs mobile app.
In celebration of the future of Leafs Nation, the team is encouraging its Members to bring a next generation fan to the game. For Members unable to attend the game, they are encouraged to donate their tickets back to the club which will be donated to a youth through the aforementioned community partners. As a special incentive to bringing a next generation fan to the game, kids in-arena on December 19 can enter to win the opportunity for Toronto Maple Leafs players to make a visit to their school during the 17/18 season. More information will be announced closer to December 19.
"Scotiabank is proud of our long legacy of supporting communities and our involvement in hockey at all levels, including being a proud supporter of the Toronto Maple Leafs and 8,000 kids' community hockey teams across Canada," said John Doig, Chief Marketing Officer, Scotiabank. "We believe that investing in young people is the pathway to community prosperity and are excited to be able to provide more than 100 young people with the opportunity to be part of history, through their attendance at the Next Century game presented by Scotiabank. We know it's a game they won't soon forget! This is yet another exciting announcement Scotiabank is thrilled to be part of with MLSE, following the recent announcement of our expanded partnership."