Leafs to host Red Wings in Centennial Classic

Toronto to celebrate 100th season with its first outdoor NHL game

Renovations are going on at BMO Field. On New Year's Day 2017 there will be a hockey rink in the middle of TFC's soccer pitch. Daniel McKenzie/Toronto Observer

Grab your mitts, your toque and your wallet. Toronto is finally getting an outdoor NHL game.

The league announced last Wednesday the Detroit Red Wings will visit the Maple Leafs on next Jan. 1 in the first NHL Centennial Classic. A renovated BMO Field will host the event.

“This meeting of the Red Wings and Maple Leafs offers an ideal launch for a fantastic 2017,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a press release. “The year in which the National Hockey League will celebrate its Centennial [and] Toronto will commemorate 100 years of NHL play.”

The NHL Centennial Classic will be an outdoor rematch of the 2014 Winter Classic between the Leafs and Red Wings.

The NHL Centennial Classic will be an outdoor rematch of the 2014 Winter Classic between the Leafs and Red Wings.

The Leafs and Red Wings played each other in the 2014 NHL Winter Classic at The Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The game drew well over 100,000 fans. This will be a more intimate event at around 40,000.

“The Toronto Maple Leafs are thrilled to host the 2017 NHL Centennial Classic,” Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan said in a statement following the announcement. “BMO Field has been undergoing an impressive two-year long transformation and will make a wonderful site for this historic match-up with the Red Wings.”

Toronto won the NHL’s first Stanley Cup in 1917. Detroit joined the league in 1926.

5 Maple Leaf events to mark on your calendar leading up to the Centennial Classic

NHL Entry Draft: June 24–25
The Leafs currently have the best odds to land the number one overall pick for the first time since 1985, when they drafted Wendel Clark.

Jersey unveiling at draft: June 24–25
The organization teased fans with a preview earlier this year. Their first 2016 draft pick will showcase the full newly-designed jersey.

Start of free agency: July 1
With All-Star forward and Markham native Steven Stamkos being an unrestricted free agent after this season, rumours have swirled about him playing for his home-town team.

Fan Fest 2016: September
Highlights of this event, in its third year, include dressing room tours and photo-ops with players.

Statue unveiling: October
Dave Keon, Turk Broda and Tim Horton will be added to Legends Row outside the Air Canada Centre.

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Posted: Mar 15 2016 10:49 am
Filed under: Hockey News Sports