Date: September 27, 2016

NHL unveils 2017 Centennial celebrations

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By NHL.com

With the incomparable Wayne Gretzky serving as the official ambassador, the National Hockey League will venerate its history, celebrate its present and anticipate its future with a year-long Centennial celebration in 2017. 

The Centennial celebration will commence on January 1, 2017, in Toronto with the NHL Centennial Classic™ outdoor game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at BMO Field. It will witness the unveiling of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in history during All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles Jan 25-27. And it will visit every NHL market and dozens of other local hockey communities during a 12-month festival of events and content initiatives culminating with the anniversary of the League’s founding on Nov. 26 and first games on Dec. 19.

Gretzky, the League’s all-time leading scorer and holder of dozens of NHL records, will make appearances at various events throughout the calendar year in his role as Centennial Ambassador. 

“A century of great players, great plays and great moments deserves a year-long celebration, and we invite everyone to join our party in 2017,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “We are delighted that Wayne Gretzky — whose spectacular contributions on the ice matched his immeasurable graciousness and popularity off the ice — will serve as our Centennial’s official ambassador as we honor all the drama, suspense, excitement and memories that have thrilled the best fans in sports for generations.” 

“I am honored to serve as the NHL’s Centennial Ambassador and to help the League celebrate its first 100 years,” Wayne Gretzky said. “Anyone who knows me knows that I have long revered the history of our game and the players, coaches and executives who built the League before I was fortunate enough to enter it. And it is no secret that I remain an avid fan who watches games every night and marvels at the young players who are leading the greatest sport in the world into the League’s next century.

“As I’ve said countless times, I owe just about everything I now have in my life to the game of hockey and the National Hockey League. And I am thrilled to spend the next year celebrating its past, present and future with hockey fans around the world.”

2017 NHL CENTENNIAL CALENDAR OF CELEBRATIONS

Jan. – Dec. — NHL Centennial Truck Tour 
Jan. – Dec. — NHL Time Capsule 
Jan. 1 — NHL Centennial Classic™ (Toronto, Ont.) 
Jan. 2 — Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade (Pasadena, CA) 
Jan. 2, 2017 — Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® (St. Louis, MO)
Jan. 27-29, 2017 — NHL® All-Star (Los Angeles, CA)
Feb. 25, 2017 — Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ (Pittsburgh, PA)
Mar. 15-18 — Stanley Cup® 125th Anniversary Celebrations (Ottawa, Ont.)
June 2017 — NHL Awards™ (Las Vegas, NV) 
Jun. 23-24 — 2017 NHL Draft™ (Chicago, IL) 
Nov. 26 — NHL 100th Anniversary of the Founding of the League 
Dec. 19 — NHL 100th Anniversary of the First Games Played 

The Centennial celebrations will culminate with special events in the League’s birthplace, Montreal, and the site of the League’s first-ever game – Ottawa, in November and December, respectively. Details on these events will be announced at a later date.

ABOUT THE 2017 NHL CENTENNIAL CELEBRATIONS

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.

NHL Centennial Classic™ (Sunday, Jan. 1, 3:00 p.m. ET, BMO Field, Toronto, Ont.) 
To launch the 2017 Centennial celebrations, the League will host an outdoor game at BMO Field featuring an Original Six™ match-up between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs; and the 100 Greatest Players from the NHL’s early years (1917-1967) will be unveiled and honored in a special ceremony. 

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. For more information visit Senators.NHL.com. 

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.

Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate Centennial Anniversary with season full of events on and off the ice

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By NHL.com

The 2016-17 NHL season will mark the Toronto Maple Leafs Centennial Season presented by Molson Canadian and the team will celebrate the historic occasion with a year full of events that honours Leafs legends, commemorates key moments in club history and engages fans of all ages.

The club announced its anniversary initiatives at the Hockey Hall of Fame today, including the unveiling of a special centennial logo, as Brendan Shanahan, Toronto Maple Leafs President and Alternate Governor, helped open a special Centennial Anniversary exhibit.

“The Maple Leafs Centennial Anniversary comes at a very special time in the team’s history,” said Shanahan. “It allows us to look back and celebrate the great players, accomplishments and special memories of one of the most important franchises in hockey, but at the same time, look ahead to the next 100 years and the start of an exciting new chapter in team history.”

In addition to the Centennial Anniversary logo that was unveiled, featuring the Maple Leafs new logo in silver with the number 100 displayed, the team announced a series of initiatives and events that will last throughout the season, including:

•The Toronto Maple Leafs will create new banners to hang in Air Canada Centre to pay tribute to the players that have had their numbers honoured. Beginning this summer and throughout the season, the 18 original Air Canada Centre banners will be delivered to the hometowns that produced these players, the greatest in our franchise’s history.

•In the fall, the Leafs will play pre-season games in three (Non-NHL) Canadian cities to give those fans the opportunity to see the team in their own town. On September 26, the Leafs will face the Ottawa Senators in Halifax in pre-season action followed by a tilt versus the Buffalo Sabres in St. Catharines on September 29 and a matchup against the Detroit Red Wings in Hamilton on October 7. Further details, including ticket on-sale dates, will be announced later this month.

•In October, the team will officially add the latest players to Legends Row, as the statues for Dave Keon, Tim Horton and Turk Broda are publicly unveiled and the three players are immortalized alongside the other Leaf greats featured on the monument including Ted Kennedy, Darryl Sittler, Johnny Bower, Borje Salming, George Armstrong, Syl Apps and Mats Sundin.

Over the course of the next three months, a committee made up of prominent members of the hockey community will determine the official list of the 100 greatest players in Toronto Maple Leafs history. The One Hundred, along with many more Leafs, will be honoured throughout the Centennial season.

•As previously announced, the Maple Leafs will play host to the NHL Centennial Classic on Sunday, January 1, 2017 at BMO Field as they play host to the Detroit Red Wings in an outdoor game to celebrate the Centennial Anniversary for both the Maple Leafs and the NHL. The Maple Leafs will wear commemorative NHL Centennial Classic uniforms to mark the occasion. As part of the NHL Centennial Classic, the league will announce the players in their Top 100 of all-time who played in the first 50 years of NHL history.

•The Maple Leafs Centennial festivities will also include an alumni game between the past great players for the Maple Leafs and the Red Wings. The game (date and time to be announced) will see the Leafs alumni team wear special uniforms featuring the team’s Centennial Anniversary logo.

•As part of the NHL Centennial Classic week, the team will host a number of activities to celebrate the anniversary, and the game of hockey, including a New Year’s Eve party and public skates on the ice surface at BMO Field.

•In addition to wearing the new Maple Leafs uniforms all season that were unveiled at the 2016 NHL Draft, featuring the team’s new logo, the club will pay tribute to its heritage by wearing Toronto St. Pats uniforms for its home date against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, March 18, 2017. The franchise was called the St. Pats from 1919-1927 before being renamed the Toronto Maple Leafs by Conn Smythe.

Further details on many of the Maple Leafs Centennial Season initiatives will be announced over the coming weeks leading up to the start of the season.

“We’re excited to share some of the initiatives that will make up the Maple Leafs Centennial anniversary but there will also be many surprises throughout the season that our fans can look forward to, including a historic opening night celebration,” said Shanahan. “We look forward to sharing this special year with our fans.”

The Toronto Maple Leafs will open their 2016-17 Centennial Anniversary season on Wednesday, October 12 in Ottawa against the Senators before returning to Toronto for their home opener on Saturday, October 15 against the visiting Boston Bruins. The Toronto Maple Leafs Centennial celebrations will conclude on the club’s 100th birthday, which falls on December 19, 2017.

Riveters Split Series With Team Russia

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By Rich Furlong National Women’s Hockey League

As if the jet lag had suddenly worn off, Team Russia came to life last night in their second and final bout with the New York Riveters.

It wasn’t lack of effort by the Riveters, as the team actually out-shot Team Russia 35-24 in the game. However, 19 year-old Russian netminder Nadezhda Morozova had an answer for just about everything the Riveters had to throw at her, only allowing one goal for a .971 save percentage on the night.

Team Russia came out flying, and was able to capitalize on their third shot of the game, only 3:12 into the first period as the shot trickled past Riveters goaltender Katie Fitzgerald. Michelle Picard made a valiant effort to stop the puck from crossing the goal line, but was just a little too late on the play.

The Riveters would push back, but the team’s momentum was impeded by back-to-back penalties from Courtney Burke and Kaleigh Fratkin, and the period ended with New York down 1-0.

Failed chances for the Riveters on the power play opportunities was the story of the second. Team Russia took 3 penalties in the period which led to a plethora of scoring chances for New York. But between Team Russia’s ability to block shots and Morozova’s stellar performance in net, the Riveters were unable to capitalize, despite having an 11-4 shot advantage in the period.

New York’s inability to score in the second would prove costly. Former Riveter Liudmila Belyakova scored on a Russia power play early in the third to put her country’s team up 2-0.

Team Russia would find themselves shorthanded four more times in the third period. This time New York would make them pay for it, as Amanda Kessel tallied her second goal in as many games to bring the Riveters within one with 4:30 left in the game.

Kessel’s goal would stand alone in the end, as two more penalties dashed the hopes on any last minute comebacks, and the Russian team would add two more goals (one with an empty net) as time expired.

“I thought we did a lot of good things,” Riveters GM and head coach Chad Wiseman said after the game, “the effort was there tonight, the legs definitely weren’t… We’ve got lots to work on and time to do it.”