It’s the 100th year anniversary of the NHL and things are looking festive for the 2016/17 NHL season.
It’s also the 100th year anniversary of the Toronto Maple Leafs as well as the 50th year anniversary of the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings.
As a side note, it’s also the 50th consecutive year that the Maple Leafs haven’t won the Stanley Cup but that’s none of my business.
Jokes aside, the 2016/2017 NHL season is the season to celebrate legacies of championship teams and iconic players that left a mark over the years.
This particular season will see many teams introduce new home and road jerseys as well as commemorative patches to highlight a symbol of for each respective franchise. The Flyers, Blues and Kings have each introduced 50th year anniversary jerseys and commemorative patches for their home and roads to show fans their place in history. The Pens didn’t get make their 50th anniversary jerseys but they did make old new again by reintroducing their white, black and gold jerseys they used back in the early 90’s when the Penguins were at their glory with Lemieux and Jagr leading the way with back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992.
There will also be more outdoor games this season as there will be four altogether for the 2016/17 NHL season. The first game to take place will be the Edmonton Oilers taking on the Winnipeg Jets in their own Heritage Classic game in Winnipeg on Sunday, October 23rd. The game will take place in the Investors Group Field.
The second outdoor game will actually be called the ‘Centennial Classic’ for the 100 year anniversary of the NHL and theToronto Maple Leafs so there is no doubt the Leafs will play this game. They will be going against the Detroit Red Wings in a rematch of the 2014 Winter Classic at the Big House 2 years ago. The Leafs beat the Red Wings 3-2 the first time they met outdoors in Detroit but this year, but they’ll playing at BMO Field in Toronto for this year’s New Year’s Day outdoor game on January 1st, 2017.
The third outdoor game will take place in Busch Field in St. Louis Missouri as the Blues will host the Chicago Blackhawks for their date on January 2nd, 2017. This game will mark the St. Louis Blues‘ first outdoor game as the Blackhawks will participate in their 5th one. The Blackhawks are always involved in outdoor games for some reason and this year is no different. This game is much more about the Blues becuase it’s their 50th anniversary plus they host the game this year. For the Blackhawks, it’ll just be another outdoor game for them but they always add excitement to these games.
The fourth and final outdoor game of the 2016/17 season will be the Pittsburgh Penguins hosting the Philadelphia Flyersas they both celebrate their 50th birthday as enemies in the elements. This game will take place in Heinz Field as it’ll be the Pens 4th outdoor game and for the Flyers, it’ll be their 3rd. This is the first time they have faced each other in an outdoor game and it couldn’t have come at a more fitting time. Game will start on February 18th, 2017.
There are also a ton of notable events during the 100 year season and they include:
NHL Centennial Truck Tour (January – December, 2017; all NHL markets + other local communities)
The Centennial will reach and engage each NHL market with a traveling Truck Tour. The Centennial Tour footprint will consist of three main components: a 53-foot museum truck that includes an interactive interior with original video content, exclusive memorabilia, and fan activations; a second 53-foot trailer with giant video screen for viewing parties and stage for player and alumni appearances; and a pop-up synthetic rink for youth hockey games and clinics. The Tour will launch on January 1 at the NHL Centennial Classic™ in Toronto and travel across North America during the year.
Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade (Monday, Jan. 2; Pasadena, CA)
The League and the Los Angeles Kings – who are celebrating their 50th anniversary – will have a hockey-themed float in the renowned Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. The float will air during NBC’s Rose Parade coverage leading into the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks.
100 Greatest NHL Players and Gala (January, 2017)
A blue ribbon panel of distinguished members from across the hockey community – including former and current executives, media members, and NHL alumni – have voted for the 100 Greatest NHL Players in history. Following the initial unveiling of the 100 Greatest Players from the NHL’s early years (1917-1966) at the NHL Centennial Classic™, the remaining players will be unveiled at a special ceremony in Los Angeles during NHL All-Star weekend. Current day all-stars will be joined by the all-time greats in Los Angeles for the largest gathering of NHL stars in one location in League history.
Stanley Cup Celebrations (March 15-18, 2017; Ottawa, Ont.)
Celebrating the 125th anniversary of the donation of the Stanley Cup by Lord Stanley of Preston, the League will support the Ottawa Senators in collaboration with ‘Canada 150’ with special events commemorating the most revered trophy in all sports.
Documentaries (March 2017; November 2017)
A Stanley Cup documentary chronicling the rich and unique history of the iconic trophy will be released during the celebrations in Ottawa. Following that, an overarching documentary covering the key moments and milestones in the League’s 100-year history will be released during the League’s 100th birthday celebrations in November.
100 Iconic NHL Moments (Fall, 2017)
The most iconic moments – goals, games, the odd and unusual, and seminal events in history will be unveiled in Fall, 2017.
NHL Time Capsule (January – December, 2017)
Each day, milestones throughout the League’s 100-year history will be shared with fans across all platforms – online, broadcast, and social – with original stories and videos.
Fun Fact: The Pittsburgh Penguins had to add another cup to their 50th anniversary logo because of their Stanley Cup victory on June 12, 2016
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