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NHL Face-Off 2008 kicks off North American season @NHLdotcom
NEW YORK – The National Hockey League is uniting fans across North America to celebrate the beginning of its 91st season with NHL FACE-OFF 2008 – a two-day entertainment experience taking place throughout North American cities and highlighted by live musical performances by Def Leppard and Alanis Morissette.   In addition to those live performances, NHL fans can enjoy a host of attractions that includes special TV programming, street festivals, a hockey tournament and opportunities to win a 2009 Honda Fit Sport automobile and a trip to the 2009 NHL Winter Classic™ at Wrigley Field in Chicago. 

The NHL also will capture the significance and excitement of a new season by placing a special NHL Face-Off 2008 logo on the ice at every arena for the first several weeks of the season.   On-ice branding is part of a broader, ongoing initiative to highlight the special nature of the League’s calendar events such as the opening of the season.

“NHL Face-Off 2008 represents a unique opportunity to celebrate the NHL season and engage our fans and partners through various platforms,” said Brian Jennings, NHL Executive Vice President of Marketing.  “With original TV programming, online streaming content, interactive fan experiences in major cities and opportunities to win substantial prizes including a Honda Fit Sport or a trip to the NHL Winter Classic, we are providing multiple touch-points for all of our fans.”

Monday, October 6 – 9

Beginning tonight, NHL Network will broadcast special NHL Face-Off 2008 preview programming across North America featuring hockey experts Gary Green, Larry Murphy and Brian Duff that prepares fans for the upcoming NHL season.
Tonight at 8 p.m. ET, NHL Face-Off 2008 programming begins with the Eastern Conference Preview, providing insider analysis of all the burning questions in the East.  Topics to be covered include a look at the Stanley Cup™ chances for the Penguins and Canadiens, the possibility of Alex Ovechkin scoring 50 goals in 50 games, off-season player movement and its possible ramifications, and a recap of Bridgestone NHL Premiere™2008.

The NHL Face-Off 2008 Western Conference Preview will air tomorrow, Oct. 7, at 8 p.m. ET, with a look at the Red Wings’ chances to become the first repeat Stanley Cup champions in a decade, which Western Conference teams could stop them, the young guns to watch, off-season player movement, plus a rapid fire segment. 

On Wednesday, Oct. 8, at 8 p.m. ET, Dan Pollard, Gary Green and two-time Stanley Cup champion Dave Reid will attempt to answer the question “Is This The Year?” with a one-hour look at the NHL season ahead, the possible scenarios that might unfold and the milestones that could be reached this year.

Detroit, Michigan – Thursday, October 9

Fans in Detroit will be able to attend NHL Face-Off Rocks 2008, a concert headlined by multi-platinum selling rock band Def Leppard and featuring a special performance by Grammy award-winning recording artist Alanis Morissette via satellite from Montreal.  Def Leppard will open the night by performing their hockey-inspired hit single, “C’mon, C’mon” from Fox Theatre in Detroit.  That will be followed by the raising of the Detroit Red Wings’ 2008 Stanley Cup Championship banner prior to the start of their sold-out home opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Joe Louis Arena. 

VERSUS and CBC will air the performances as part of their broadcasts of the Red Wings-Maple Leafs game in the U.S. and Canada, respectively. and will provide live streaming coverage of the concert, giving fans around the world the chance to take part in the season-opening festivities.  Immediately following, VERSUS will broadcast the Colorado Avalanche vs. the Boston Bruins and CBC will broadcast the Vancouver Canucks vs. the Calgary Flames

Tickets to NHL Face-Off Rocks at Fox Theatre are available for $35 and $45 on-line at and, 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.

Sponsors of this event include: Bud Light, Honda, Scotiabank, Diet Pepsi Max, Sirius XM Radio and XM Canada, and Cisco.

Montreal, Quebec – Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 9 – 11
The NHL, along with Bud Light, will celebrate the new season at a three-day hockey festival on Crescent Street in downtown Montreal.  The open-air festival, running Thursday, Oct. 9, through Saturday, Oct. 11, will feature a full slate of free activities for hockey fans - including live entertainment each night and competitions on an 18-metre hockey rink in the middle of the street.

Former Montréal Canadiens left winger Dave Morissette will be on-site as the events spokesperson.  Other celebrities, including Joel Bouchard, will show off their talents on the Crescent Street rink in celebrity exhibition games being held from 12-1 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Ron Fournier, former NHL referee, will reprise his role during Thursday’s celebrity games.

The rink also will be the site of a charity hockey tournament featuring teams made up of local companies to benefit Fondation en cœur, Fondation québécoise pour les enfants malades du cœur (Québec foundation for children with heart disease).  This featured event runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day. Opening ceremonies for the tournament take place at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 9, with the closing ceremonies schedule for 9:45 p.m. on Saturday. The semi-finals will be contested Saturday evening and the tournament’s championship game faces off Saturday night at 9:15 p.m.

New York, New York – Friday, October 10

The NHL Powered By Reebok store will celebrate its first anniversary and the start of the 2008-09 NHL season by hosting a free NHL Face-Off™ Fan Festival on Friday, Oct. 10 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.   As part of the celebration, Honda will give away a 2009 Honda Fit Sport automobile to one lucky grand prize winner.  NHL alumni scheduled to appear include: Ken Daneyko, Terry O'Reilly, Dave Schultz, and Ed Olczyk.

Other on-site attractions include the debut of a customized OC Chopper motorcycle designed by Orange County Choppers in an Original Six™ theme, a live ice sculpting show by “Fear No Ice,” a live musical performance by The Zambonis - the all-hockey rock band, interactive hockey-themed kiosks, Starbucks samples and more.  Ideally located at Sixth Avenue and West 47th Street, the NHL Powered By Reebok store creates an unprecedented hockey shopping experience and serves as a meeting place for fans from around the world. 

Fans who are unable to visit the NHL Powered By Reebok store for this event 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 Years’ Day by visiting throughout the month of October.
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