The 2016-17 NHL season will mark the Toronto Maple Leafs Centennial Season presented by Molson Canadian and the team will celebrate the historic occasion with a year full of events that honours Leafs legends, commemorates key moments in club history and engages fans of all ages.
The club announced its anniversary initiatives at the Hockey Hall of Fame today, including the unveiling of a special centennial logo, as Brendan Shanahan, Toronto Maple Leafs President and Alternate Governor, helped open a special Centennial Anniversary exhibit.
“The Maple Leafs Centennial Anniversary comes at a very special time in the team’s history,” said Shanahan. “It allows us to look back and celebrate the great players, accomplishments and special memories of one of the most important franchises in hockey, but at the same time, look ahead to the next 100 years and the start of an exciting new chapter in team history.”
In addition to the Centennial Anniversary logo that was unveiled, featuring the Maple Leafs new logo in silver with the number 100 displayed, the team announced a series of initiatives and events that will last throughout the season, including:
•The Toronto Maple Leafs will create new banners to hang in Air Canada Centre to pay tribute to the players that have had their numbers honoured. Beginning this summer and throughout the season, the 18 original Air Canada Centre banners will be delivered to the hometowns that produced these players, the greatest in our franchise’s history.
•In the fall, the Leafs will play pre-season games in three (Non-NHL) Canadian cities to give those fans the opportunity to see the team in their own town. On September 26, the Leafs will face the Ottawa Senators in Halifax in pre-season action followed by a tilt versus the Buffalo Sabres in St. Catharines on September 29 and a matchup against the Detroit Red Wings in Hamilton on October 7. Further details, including ticket on-sale dates, will be announced later this month.
•In October, the team will officially add the latest players to Legends Row, as the statues for Dave Keon, Tim Horton and Turk Broda are publicly unveiled and the three players are immortalized alongside the other Leaf greats featured on the monument including Ted Kennedy, Darryl Sittler, Johnny Bower, Borje Salming, George Armstrong, Syl Apps and Mats Sundin.
•Over the course of the next three months, a committee made up of prominent members of the hockey community will determine the official list of the 100 greatest players in Toronto Maple Leafs history. The One Hundred, along with many more Leafs, will be honoured throughout the Centennial season.
•As previously announced, the Maple Leafs will play host to the NHL Centennial Classic on Sunday, January 1, 2017 at BMO Field as they play host to the Detroit Red Wings in an outdoor game to celebrate the Centennial Anniversary for both the Maple Leafs and the NHL. The Maple Leafs will wear commemorative NHL Centennial Classic uniforms to mark the occasion. As part of the NHL Centennial Classic, the league will announce the players in their Top 100 of all-time who played in the first 50 years of NHL history.
•The Maple Leafs Centennial festivities will also include an alumni game between the past great players for the Maple Leafs and the Red Wings. The game (date and time to be announced) will see the Leafs alumni team wear special uniforms featuring the team’s Centennial Anniversary logo.
•As part of the NHL Centennial Classic week, the team will host a number of activities to celebrate the anniversary, and the game of hockey, including a New Year’s Eve party and public skates on the ice surface at BMO Field.
•In addition to wearing the new Maple Leafs uniforms all season that were unveiled at the 2016 NHL Draft, featuring the team’s new logo, the club will pay tribute to its heritage by wearing Toronto St. Pats uniforms for its home date against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, March 18, 2017. The franchise was called the St. Pats from 1919-1927 before being renamed the Toronto Maple Leafs by Conn Smythe.
Further details on many of the Maple Leafs Centennial Season initiatives will be announced over the coming weeks leading up to the start of the season.
“We’re excited to share some of the initiatives that will make up the Maple Leafs Centennial anniversary but there will also be many surprises throughout the season that our fans can look forward to, including a historic opening night celebration,” said Shanahan. “We look forward to sharing this special year with our fans.”
The Toronto Maple Leafs will open their 2016-17 Centennial Anniversary season on Wednesday, October 12 in Ottawa against the Senators before returning to Toronto for their home opener on Saturday, October 15 against the visiting Boston Bruins. The Toronto Maple Leafs Centennial celebrations will conclude on the club’s 100th birthday, which falls on December 19, 2017.