NEW YORK/TORONTO/MONTREAL - The National Hockey League (NHL) and Montreal Canadiens will host a series of events and ceremonies on Nov. 17-19, 2017 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the League. The celebration will take place in Montreal, where the NHL was founded at the Windsor Hotel in November 1917. Representing the Original Six roots of the NHL, Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (Boston Bruins), Yvan Cournoyer (Montreal Canadiens), Rod Gilbert (New York Rangers), Dave Keon (Toronto Maple Leafs), Frank Mahovlich (Detroit Red Wings), and Denis Savard (Chicago Blackhawks) - who have won a combined 22 Stanley Cup championships, scored 2,934 goals and produced 7,625 points in 8,156 regular-season and playoff games - will make special appearances throughout the weekend.
The activities will launch with a General Managers meeting at the historic Windsor - where, according to the handwritten minutes taken 100 years ago, a meeting was called "to ascertain if some steps could not be taken to perpetuate the game of hockey," and the National Hockey League officially came into being on Nov. 26, 1917. The League will honor that moment on Nov. 17, 2017 with a gathering of top hockey operations executives representing the League and its 31 franchises.
Following the meeting, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, the NHL General Managers, Hall of Famers and representatives from the Government of Canada will dedicate a plaque recognizing the historic site as the birthplace of the League. The plaque will honor a century of NHL memories, moments and milestones.
Later Friday, Commissioner Bettman will join Montreal Canadiens owner, President and CEO Geoff Molson, the General Managers and Hall of Famers at a Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal business luncheon at the Hotel Bonaventure. The event, a salute to 100 years of the NHL, will include unique programming featuring League and Club executives.
On Saturday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs will face-off against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre following a ceremonial puck drop featuring the legendary Hall of Famers, including Keon and Cournoyer - rivals from Maple Leafs and Canadiens, respectively, during the 1960s and 1970s.
The weekend will be accentuated by the presence of the NHL Centennial Fan Arena, a touring tribute to a century of NHL hockey. The free, interactive experience located outside Bell Centre on Saturday and Sunday, features an innovative museum, original video content, and a first-of-its-kind virtual reality game. Saturday will also include special appearances and Q&A sessions with the Hall of Famers. Fans also will have the opportunity to have their photos taken with the Stanley Cup - the most revered trophy in sports, the trophy earned by the Canadiens 24 times, more than any other NHL franchise.
Free fan activities also will include the first-ever public display of the 100 Greatest Player portraits. All player portraits have been painted by renowned Canadian artist Tony Harris (@THFineArt). Based in Ottawa, Ont., Harris was specially commissioned to create the 100 original portraits. Harris' work captures the character and spirit of each player in a one-of-a-kind 11x14 canvas. Since January 2017, the start of the NHL Centennial celebration, the oil-based paintings have been digitized and shared online for fans around the world to enjoy. Over the course of the weekend, fans in Montreal can view all 100 paintings, which will be on display at historic Windsor Station.
Schedule of Events
Friday, Nov. 17
General Managers Meeting, Windsor Hotel
Chamber of Commerce Luncheon, Hotel Bonaventure
Saturday, Nov. 18
NHL Centennial Fan Arena, Bell Centre
100 Greatest Player Portrait Display, Windsor Station
Ceremonial puck drop featuring Hall of Famers
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Montreal Canadiens, 7 p.m. ET (Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
Sunday, Nov. 19
NHL Centennial Fan Arena, Bell Centre
100 Greatest Players Portrait Display, Windsor Station
To join the conversation, use the official Centennial hashtag #NHL100