OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens will close a 100-year-old circle Dec. 16 when they meet in the 2017 Scotiabank NHL100 Classic in an outdoor game at Lansdowne Park.
The Senators and Canadiens, two of the founding members of the NHL, met on the League's opening night, Dec. 19, 1917. The NHL100 Classic will be the culmination of the League's Centennial celebrations and coincide with Canada's 150th celebration, the Senators 25th anniversary and the Stanley Cup's 125th birthday.
"Thanks to five goals by Joe Malone and the goaltending of Georges Vezina, another of our [100 Greatest NHL Players presented by Molson Canadian], the Canadiens won 7-4 on the night that launched 100 years of NHL hockey," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Friday. "To launch our next 100 years, we believe it is only right to bring the Canadiens and the Senators back together.
"We have conducted 22 outdoor games to this point and every one of them has created a wealth of memories for our teams, our players, their families and our fans. We expect more of the same at Lansdowne Park."
The game, which will be played at the home of the Ottawa RedBlacks of the Canadian Football League, will highlight Ottawa's place in hockey history, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said.
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"I figure it's 125 years for the Stanley Cup, you've got 100 years of the National Hockey League and the Ottawa Senators anniversary is being celebrated this year," he said. "Only the hockey gods could have figured this one out for us to have them all coincide with our celebration of 150 years for Canada.
"The three anniversaries are something that all of us should be celebrating nowhere else but the nation's capital. It reaffirms the game of hockey was born right here in Ottawa, and it's appropriate to have the celebration here in this city. It's something everyone in this great city will be proud of. And I believe as a city, Ottawa is the cradle of hockey and Ottawa is the capital of a hockey nation. I hope every Ottawa Senators fan appreciates and celebrates our deep, deep connection to this game.
"It's going to be a perfect weekend, I can guarantee you."
Video: Sens to host Canadiens in Scotiabank NHL 100 Classic
This will be the first outdoor game the Senators will host. They defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 in the 2014 Heritage Classic at BC Place in Vancouver.
"I think it's going to be great," Senators captain Erik Karlsson said. "We're a smaller community, but we have a lot of passion. By playing Montreal I think it's going to be even better. Being on the border of Quebec, we have a lot of Montreal fans in this city and I think this is going to create a great buzz around Christmas.
"It's going to be a great hockey game. Montreal's been a really good team for a long time and I'm sure they'll be good next year. I know that we're extremely excited as a team. In the middle of the season, sometimes you forget about how much fun it is to play hockey and I think this type of event really pulls it all together. You're going to feel the excitement right from the start of the season."
Montreal is 2-1-0 in three prior outdoor games. It defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton in 2003 and the Boston Bruins 5-1 at the 2016 Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, and lost 4-0 to the Calgary Flames at the 2011 Heritage Classic at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.
[See also: NHL.com/NHL100Classic]
"For us it's a great honor to be invited to play in another outdoor game," Canadiens president and CEO Geoff Molson said. "This is going to be our fourth game. We played in the first one in the history of the NHL in Edmonton, we played in Calgary, Boston and now the nation's capital. We're really proud to be here."
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson was among those already looking forward to the game.
"Today is an amazing day for our fans, for our city and for the wonderful game of hockey," Watson said. "It took a lot effort to get this announcement, a lot of long hours. At some point I think I can be accused of harassment for the calls that went back and forth between my office, the NHL and the Senators. But it all came together."
Additional details about the 2017 Scotiabank NHL100 Classic, including broadcast and ticketing information, will be announced in the coming months.