Vancouver, Ottawa to faceoff in Heritage Classic
After a three year absence, the Heritage Classic – Canada’s Winter Classic – is returning.
The NHL officially announced on Wednesday that the Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators will play at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver on March 2, 2014. BC Place becomes the first retractable-roof facility to host an NHL game, while the Canucks will be the third team to host a Heritage Classic, joining the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers.
“With one of the world’s great facilities as the setting, and one of the world’s most scenic cities as the backdrop, the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at BC Place in Vancouver will honor hockey’s Canadian heritage,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said during the game’s announcement.
CBC and RDS will televise the game to the Canadian audience, with NBC Sports Network carrying the game in the U.S.
The Heritage Classic becomes the sixth outdoor game scheduled for next season. Other outdoor games include the annual Winter Classic between Detroit and Toronto, which was canceled due to last season’s lockout, and the new Stadium Series. The Stadium Series consists of four games, with the Los Angeles Kings hosting the Anaheim Ducks at Dodger Stadium on January 25, the New York Rangers hosting the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders at Yankee Stadium on January 26 and 29, and the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins playing at Soldier Field in Chicago on March 1.
As with every outdoor game, there is the potential for non-cooperative weather. Harrison Mooney of The Vancouver Sun pointed out that March in Vancouver tends to be rainy, which could interrupt the outdoor classic. “If it does rain, can they close the roof? That would make sense but if they do that, it’s no longer an outdoor game, and it’s only sort of going to be one now,” he writes.
Whether or not the roof is closed, having the Heritage Classic back is good for the sport of hockey and Canadian hockey fans.
As for having the Canucks and Senators take part in the game, it’s paying homage to the history of the game, as in 1915 the Vancouver Millionaires, champs of Pacific Coast Hockey Association, played the Ottawa Senators, champs of the National Hockey Association, in a best-of-five series for the Stanley Cup. Vancouver swept the series.
And, of course, one of the best parts of having these classic games is the throwback jerseys each team will wear. With the 1915 history between the clubs, it’s possible that we could see Vancouver suit up in these uniforms, with Ottawa dressing in these.