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Kraft Hockeyville 2011 search underway

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The latest quest to find Canada's most passionate hockey town has started.

The nomination phase for Kraft Hockeyville 2011 has begun, and communities across Canada can visit Krafthockeyville.ca to nominate their town. An application form, short essay (up to 4,000 characters) and as many as three supporting photos that depict their town's pride and passion for the game must be submitted.

The deadline for entries is 11:59 p.m. Jan. 30, 2011. The top 10 communities chosen will be revealed on the Kraft Hockeyville 2011 show on CBC on March 8, 2011, and then there will be another public vote for the top five locales, running from March 8-13. The top five will be revealed March 19 on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada before a third round of voting, from March 19-21, determines the the next location of the annual exhibition-season event.

On April 2, 2011, the winner will be revealed on Hockey Night in Canada.

The winning community will host a 2011-12 NHL preseason game, host a live broadcast of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, and receive $100,000 in arena upgrades, courtesy of Kraft Canada. In addition, four other communities will receive $25,000 each for arena upgrades.

A change to this year's contest has Canada split into five regions, each with a current NHL star serving as a regional ambassador -- Red Wings forward Danny Cleary (Atlantic), Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows (Quebec), Sharks center Joe Thornton (Ontario), Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers (West) and Flames forward Brendan Morrison (Pacific).

"The great thing about Kraft Hockeyville is that it brings the game back to its roots at the local rink," said Cleary. "It's a great reminder of how hockey plays such a big role in our lives and brings communities together across the country."

"The NHL is pleased to continue the successful partnership with Kraft, CBC and the NHLPA to showcase the many passionate hockey communities across Canada," said NHL Executive Vice President of Marketing Brian Jennings. "We look forward to celebrating the sixth installment of Kraft Hockeyville and awarding one deserving community with an NHL preseason game."

"Kraft Hockeyville provides communities across Canada with a unique opportunity to bring the world's best hockey players to their local arena," added Mike Ouellet, NHLPA Chief of Business Affairs. "Over the last five years, including this past September in Dundas, Kraft Hockeyville has been an amazing experience for the fans in the winning communities and for the NHLPA members who have participated. We encourage communities across the country to start working on their applications in hopes of seeing NHL stars playing this game in their hometown."

Previous winners include Dundas, Ont. (2010); Terrace, B.C. (2009); Roberval, Que. (2008); North Bay, Ont. (2007); and Salmon River, NS (2006).
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