After years of negotiations failed to bring an outdoor game to Parliament Hill, it sounds like an agreement has finally been reached to play a 2017-18 regular season game featuring the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens at TD Place at Lansdowne this upcoming December.
The original Senators played the Montreal Canadiens on December 19, 1917 for the NHL’s first game in history, but this event is also significant because the Senators and the City of Ottawa also want the event to headline Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will arrive in town tomorrow morning from for Jim Watson’s mayor’s breakfast event, but it sounds like an official announcement on the game could come today.
Although the game will lack the historically unprecedented backdrop that Parliament Hill would provide, this isn’t like a vintage John Muckler trade where he addresses the fan base at the conclusion of the NHL trade deadline and says, “Hey, we’ve acquired Tyler Arnason. At least we did something.”
It may not be the venue that everyone hoped for, but this isn’t some half-assed compromise. TD Place is an excellent downtown venue to house this event and Ottawa’s fortunate to get it. Yes, even if it means enduring a cold-weather event where the hockey will be played under sub-optimal conditions.
Now the only debates left are which jerseys to wear (2D) and who to invite to play in the alumni game.
My ballot (note: Chara, Fisher and Hossa would be locks, but I’m assuming they’ll play next season):
Cunneyworth-Van Allen-Neil (assuming he retires)