First, there was the week-long celebration of the 2008-09 season with the Bridgestone NHL Premiere 2008 Series that allowed fans throughout Europe to soak up all that's great about the League, capped by season-opening games in Prague and Stockholm.
Now, the party continues with the start to the North American portion of season, NHL Face-Off 2008.
"NHL Face-Off 2008 represents an opportunity to celebrate the NHL season with our fans and partners while honoring all our players as they return to the ice filled with hope and excitement," NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins said.
Headlining the Face-Off 2008 party is NHL Face-Off Rocks 2008 on Thursday, featuring a concert by Def Leppard. The multi-platinum selling band will perform live at the Fox Theater in Detroit, including their hockey-inspired hit, "C'mon, C'mon." They'll also play songs from their new album, "Songs from the Sparkle Lounge," as well as their other well-known hits.
Fans also will see a live performance by Grammy-winning singer Alanis Morrisette, who will be performing live via satellite from Montreal.
Tickets to NHL Face-Off Rocks at the Fox Theatre are available for $35 and $45 online at Ticketmaster.com and OlympiaEntertainment.com, at all Ticketmaster locations and at the Fox Theatre box office. To charge by phone, call (248) 433-1515. Doors will open at 6 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show.
While Def Leppard is rocking the Fox Theater, the Detroit Red Wings
will rock the Joe Louis Arena as they raise their 2008 Stanley Cup championship banner and open defense of their title against the Toronto Maple Leafs
VERSUS, CBC and RIS will show portions of the concert at Fox Theater as part of their broadcast of the Wings-Leafs game.
The Detroit-Toronto contest is part of an opening-night doubleheader starting at 7 p.m. ET on VERSUS and CBC. At 10 p.m. ET, VERSUS will broadcast Colorado vs. Boston, while CBC will show Vancouver vs. Calgary.
In addition to live-game programming, NHL Network will broadcast special NHL Face-Off 2008 programming, starting Monday at 8 p.m. ET with an Eastern Conference preview, including looks at the Stanley Cup chances for the Pittsburgh Penguins
and Montreal Canadiens
, the possibility of Alex Ovechkin
scoring 50 goals in 50 games, and a recap of the Bridgestone NHL Premiere 2008 Series.
Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, the network will air a Western Conference preview, featuring a look at the Red Wings' attempt to become the first repeat Cup champions in a decade, which Western Conference team could stop them, offseason player movement and a look at which young guns to watch.
At 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, hosts Dan Pollard, Gary Green and Dave Reid will try to answer the question, "Is This The Year?" with a one-hour look at the NHL season, the possible scenarios that might unfold and the milestones that could be reached this year.
The NHL Face-Off 2008 party won't just be in Detroit. Crescent Street in downtown Montreal will be the home for a three-day hockey festival hosted by the NHL and Bud Light. The open-air festival, which will run Oct. 9-11, will feature a full slate of free activities for hockey fans, including live entertainment each night and competitions on an 18-meter hockey rink in the middle of the street.
Hosting the event will be former Canadiens forward Dave Morissette
and other hockey celebrities. There also will be a charity hockey tournament on the mini-rink, with proceeds benefiting the Quebec foundation for children with heart disease. Opening ceremonies for the tournament will be Oct. 9 at 12:30 p.m. The semifinals and finals will be Oct. 10 at 9:15 p.m.
In New York City, the NHL Powered by Reebok Store will celebrate its first anniversary on Friday, Oct. 10, by hosting a free NHL Face-Off Fan Festival, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. NHL alumni scheduled to appear include New Jersey's Ken Daneyko, Boston's Terry O'Reilly, Philadelphia's Dave Schultz and Chicago center and current broadcaster Ed Olczyk.
As part of the celebration, Honda will give away a 2009 Honda Fit Sport automobile to one lucky fan. Also, Orange County Choppers will unveil a customized OC Chopper motorcycle, designed with an Original Six theme; a live ice sculpting show by "Fear No Ice," a live musical performance by The Zambonis, interactive hockey-themed kiosks, Starbucks samples and more. The store is located at Sixth Avenue and 47th Street in Manhattan.
Fans unable to attend the celebration at the store still can take part in the celebration by entering to win a trip for two to the 2009 NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley Field in Chicago on New Year's Day by visiting FaceoffNYC.nhl.com throughout October.
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org.