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Emile Francis to Be On Hand for Wolf Pack Opening Night Gala

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
The Hartford Wolf Pack will commemorate their 2000 Calder Cup championship on Saturday night with a full slate of festivities leading up to their home opener against the Providence Bruins.

In June, the Wolf Pack won the first pro hockey championship ever for the city of Hartford, defeating the Rochester Americans four games to two in the Calder Cup Finals.

Saturday’s celebration will begin at 5:00 p.m. with a block party on Trumbull Street in front of the Hartford Civic Center. The party will feature the music of The Zambonis, North America’s favorite all-hockey band, who will be debuting updated versions of two songs, Let’s Go Wolf Pack and Hockey Party. There will also be refreshments, inflatable games, a display of the trophies won by the Wolf Pack last season (including the Calder Cup), and an appearance by the Pack’s new Dattco transit bus.

Coliseum doors will open at 6:30, and the pre-game festivities are scheduled to begin at 7:25 with a video highlighting the Wolf Pack’s championship season. There will be laser-light and pyrotechnic shows, the raising of the championship banner to the Civic Center rafters, and the presentation of championship rings to members of last year’s team.

Additionally, the Wolf Pack will kick off their silver anniversary celebration of hockey in Hartford with a ceremonial puck drop, featuring Jodi Rell, Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut, and Emile Francis, Hockey Hall of Famer and former general manager of the New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues, and Hartford Whalers.

Francis’s participation marks the begin of a year-long celebration of 25 years of pro hockey in the city of Hartford. “We’ve got some exciting events planned all season long,” said Wolf Pack general manager Al Coates. “The organization realizes how important it is for us to recognize the history of the sport in the Hartford community. The Wolf Pack are a continuation of a tradition, not the start of a new one.”

Ticket sales for Saturday’s opener have been brisk, so it is suggested that fans purchase their tickets in advance to avoid potentially long lines that evening. Tickets for the Wolf Pack’s entire 2000-01 regular season are on sale now at the Hartford Civic Center box office, and charge orders can be placed through Ticketmaster at (860) 525-4500, (203) 624-0033, (203) 744-8100, or (413) 733-2500, or on the internet at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. Full-season ticket packages, multi-game plans, and coupon books are also available, and special packages for groups, families, and birthday parties are being offered. Contact the Hartford Wolf Pack ticket office at (860) 548-2000 for details.
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