OTTAWA -- The donation of the Stanley Cup, the most cherished and revered trophy in sports, today was designated as a National Historic Event by the government of Canada - highlighting a five-day celebration of the Stanley Cup's 125th birthday and continuing the yearlong celebration of the NHL's Centennial.
On March 18, 1892, Lord Stanley of Preston, the sixth Governor General of Canada, donated a championship Cup through a letter that was read by an emissary at a dinner honoring the Ottawa Hockey Club at a downtown hotel, the Russell House. Through generations, the Stanley Cup has become the unchallenged symbol of hockey supremacy - a level of stature that was recognized today with designation by the Canadian government as a National Historic Event.
At a news conference this morning, Catherine McKenna, Minister responsible for Parks Canada, dedicated a commemorative plaque that will be placed on the wall of a building in downtown Ottawa near where the Russell House once stood. As the Minister offered her remarks, she was accompanied by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, other dignitaries and seven hockey greats from the recently announced 100 Greatest NHL Players: Mike Bossy, Paul Coffey, Dave Keon, Guy Lafleur, Frank Mahovlich, Bernie Parent and Bryan Trottier. These seven legendary players, each of whom is in the Hockey Hall of Fame, won a combined 31 Stanley Cups®.
"I am delighted that this symbol of hockey excellence, celebrating the National Hockey League's greatest teams, players and rivalries, is now recognized as an event of national historic significance," Minister McKenna said.
"The Stanley Cup is incomparable and pre-eminent. It is irreplaceable, transcendent," Commissioner Bettman said during the news conference. "Without ever saying a word, our Cup has spoken volumes about our sport, about the physical and emotional limits our players are prepared to test - and, if necessary, exceed - for the honor of winning it and hoisting it over their heads, handing it to their teammates, bringing it to their hometowns."
Earlier today, the NHL's Centennial celebrations continued with the announcement of the 2017 Scotiabank NHL100 Classic™, featuring the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa. The game will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the League's first games (Dec. 19, 1917), including an inaugural opening night game between the original Senators and Canadiens at Dey's Arena in Ottawa.
Also earlier today, the NHL provided a sneak peak of its upcoming Stanley Cup documentary, "Names on the Cup," which tells the extraordinary and compelling stories of the men who are honored on hockey's ultimate treasure. The documentary features some of the greatest players of the 20th and 21st centuries, who share tales about how winning the Stanley Cup changed their lives, thrilled their communities and moved millions of their countrymen. Click here to view a trailer. Details regarding the premiere of "Names on the Cup" will be announced at a later date.
The NHL Centennial Fan Arena also is visiting Ottawa as part of the League's Centennial celebration. An interactive traveling fan experience that will visit all NHL markets across North America in 2017, the NHL Centennial Fan Arena will be located inside Aberdeen Pavilion at 1000 Exhibition Way on March 18 and 19. Headlined by an appearance from the weekend guest of honor - the Stanley Cup® - the NHL Centennial Fan Arena also will feature the Museum Truck, Entertainment Truck, The Rink (a pop-up ball hockey rink) and a viewing party for the Senators' game at the Canadiens on Sunday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour also will be part of the weekend hockey festivities and will be located outside the Aberdeen Pavilion on March 18 and 19.
THEY SAID IT:
"It's always an honor and a privilege to have played in the National Hockey League, for sure, but being involved in these festivities organized by the League is great. One hundred and 25 years of the Stanley Cup and 100 years of the NHL is absolutely fantastic. For all of us here to have our names on it at least once is just great. The city of Ottawa, it's a great, great hockey town. Mr. Bettman alluded today that there couldn't be a better place to have all these celebrations than right here and I'm just happy to be a part of it." - Paul Coffey
"It's been a really eventful few months for me. To be included in the grand scheme of 100 years is pretty overwhelming. When you start out playing, you just want to play in the National Hockey League. Play for a little while and all of a sudden you're included in the greatest hundred of the first 100. When they had the initial announcement of the first 33 of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in Toronto at New Year's, and then at the All-Star Game when most of the rest of the 100 were there, those were some pretty impressive people to be included with. That's pretty cool." - Dave Keon
"This means a lot. Just to be asked by the NHL to be a part of it is something very special, it's once in a lifetime as we say. It's great to be part of it. The announcement today that Montreal will play Ottawa outdoors in December is wonderful, too. There are too many things about the celebrations to say there's just one that stands out. It's been fantastic to see these guys I played with for Team Canada and against in the NHL, it makes it all very special." - Guy Lafleur
"I'm amazed that the NHL has come this far and I'm amazed by the way it's developed. The game has changed so much from the days when I started. What's been very special about the League's Centennial celebration has been seeing so many of the men whom I played with and against. I have no opponents now, we're all friends. And it's always fun to be able to tell my old Canadiens teammate Guy Lafleur about the time at a training camp in Victoria, B.C., that we invited a window-washer into our hotel room for breakfast - and he came in!" - Frank Mahovlich
"Too many people speak about having fun at your final destination in life. The important thing is to have fun along the way. The NHL's Centennial celebration has been having that fun along the way. That so many of us have been able to renew friendships, and make new friends while celebrating the history of the NHL, has been an incredible thing. I thank the League for having given my wife, Gini, and myself the chance to do this." - Bernie Parent
"This is a chance for me to appreciate all the players who have played before me, the inspiration they gave me to want to play in the NHL, and then reflect on my career, the great players I've played with and against. And then to celebrate that now, with the 2017 opportunities that have been created through the NHL or the various teams that are celebrating this, and making me feel like 'God, I'm a celebrity,' when I feel like everyone else is a celebrity. This has been spectacular. Everyone deserves great credit and accolades for making hockey such a big part of the culture in Canada and fabric of hockey fans. I've really enjoyed every minute of it." - Bryan Trottier
"This is a pleasure to be a part of and I'm honored that the NHL has asked me to join them. I'm not one to partake in celebrations, I don't like getting fussed over, but I made it a point to go to Los Angeles to be a part of the Top 100 gala and to come and participate here when the NHL called me. For me, today, my career is like, long gone, long over, so I'm sort of outside that now. It's a little bit of an out-of-body experience." - Mike Bossy
2017 NHL Centennial Calendar of Celebrations
The NHL's Centennial celebrations throughout the year include a variety of important content initiatives, ceremonies, recognitions, observances and special events. More details about events occurring later in the year will be available soon.
Jan. - Dec. NHL Centennial Fan Arena Traveling Tour
Jan. 1 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic™ (Toronto, ON)
Jan. 1 100 Greatest NHL Players Unveiling (1917-1966)
Jan. 2 Tournament of Roses Parade - "A Century of Greatness (1917-2017)" Float (Pasadena, CA)
Jan. 2 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® (St. Louis, MO)
Jan. 27-29 2017 NHL® All-Star Weekend (Los Angeles, CA)
Jan. 27 THE NHL100™ - 100 Greatest NHL Players Unveiling at Microsoft Theater, (Los Angeles, CA)
Feb. 25 2017 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ (Pittsburgh, PA)
March 15-18 Stanley Cup® 125th Anniversary Celebrations (Ottawa, ON)
June 2017 NHL Awards™ (Las Vegas, NV)
June 23-24 2017 NHL Draft™ (Chicago, IL)
Nov. 26 NHL 100th Anniversary of the Founding of the League
Dec. 16 2017 Scotiabank NHL100 Classic™ (Ottawa, ON)
Dec. 19 NHL 100th Anniversary of the First Games Played