The 2011 NHL Heritage Classic is a scheduled outdoor regular season National Hockey League (NHL) game that will pit the Montreal Canadiens against the Calgary Flames at McMahon Stadium, located on the campus of the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.[1] The game is scheduled for February 20, 2011 at 4:00PM MST , and will be the second outdoor game of the 2010–11 NHL season, following the Winter Classic. The contest will be televised in Canada on CBC (English) and RDS (French) while Versus is scheduled to telecast the game in the United States. As part of the festivities for the Classic, the Calgary Hitmen will face the Regina Pats on February 21 in what will be the first outdoor game in Western Hockey League history.

Teams and venue[edit | edit source]

The Flames lobbied the NHL for the opportunity to host an outdoor game for some time.[2] They unsuccessfully sought to host a second outdoor game as part of a doubleheader with the 2010 NHL Winter Classic in Boston.[3] It will be the first outdoor game for the Flames in their franchise history but will mark the second time the Canadiens have participated in one. The Edmonton Oilers hosted Montreal in 2003 as part of the first Heritage Classic.[4]

The game will be played at McMahon Stadium, the usual home of the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League and the University of Calgary Dinos. McMahon has a usual capacity of 35,650 but will have additional seating added for the event.[5] The unpredictability of the weather in Calgary will present a challenge for organizers. The average temperatures for February 20 range between 1°C and -11°C degrees for the highs and lows, but the records are 18°C (1995) and -38°C (1884).[6]

Uniforms[edit | edit source]

Josh Gorges, Gary Bettman and Steve Staios unveil the uniforms to be worn for the game.

As with other outdoor games, there will be special jerseys for the event. The Flames uniform is maroon with burnt yellow stripes and tan pants and is a replica of the jerseys worn by the Calgary Tigers of the 1920s with the Flaming C in place of their logo.[7] Prior to its revelation, team president Ken King had stated the uniform would represent a period in Calgary's hockey history that predated the existence of the Flames.[5] The Tigers were the first professional hockey team in Calgary's history and were members of the Western Canada Hockey League of the 1920s, winning the league championship in 1924 before losing that year's Stanley Cup Final to the Canadiens.[7] Montreal will wear a classic version of their current road uniform, that is, like all of their uniforms, almost identical to every other jersey they have ever worn.[7]

Events[edit | edit source]

The weekend event will also feature a junior hockey game on February 21. In what will be the first outdoor game in Western Hockey League (WHL) history, the league's defending champion Calgary Hitmen will host the Regina Pats, who are Canada's oldest major-junior hockey team.[8][9] The WHL game will offer a parallel to the NHL match-up, as the Hitmen are owned by the Flames while the Pats were once an affiliate of the Canadiens.[10] The Flames are hoping to also hold an alumni game, though none has officially been confirmed.[11]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. NHL to announce outdoor games in Pittsburgh, Calgary on Friday. The Sports Network (2010-05-27). Retrieved on 2010-05-27.
  2. Talks underway to bring NHL Winter Classic game to Calgary. Calgary Herald (2009-06-19). Retrieved on 2010-05-27.
  3. Outdoor game for Calgary?. Winnipeg Free Press (2009-12-17). Retrieved on 2010-05-27.
  4. MacFarlane, Steve (2010-05-27). Flames push for outdoor game. Calgary Sun. Retrieved on 2010-05-27.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Hall, Vicki (2010-06-19). Flames will wear 'heritage' jerseys at 2011 outdoor Classic. Calgary Herald. Retrieved on 2010-06-19.
  6. Cruikshank, Scott (2010-05-28). Calgary warms up to Heritage Classic. Regina Leader-Post. Retrieved on 2010-06-19.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Sportak, Randy (2010-08-04). Flames go retro for Heritage Classic. Calgary Sun. Retrieved on 2010-08-04.
  8. Hitmen to host outdoor game. Calgary Hitmen Hockey Club (2010-08-04). Retrieved on 2010-08-04.
  9. History. Regina Pats Hockey Club. Retrieved on 2010-08-04.
  10. Down, John. "Fired up for Heritage Classic", Calgary Herald, 2010-08-05. Retrieved on 2010-08-05. 
  11. Hall, Vicki (2010-08-05). Flames will salute old-time hockey in NHL Heritage Classic. Calgary Herald. Retrieved on 2010-08-05.
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