The Heritage Classic in Calgary at McMahon Stadium, home of the Stampeders, is approaching seemingly faster than an Al MacInnis howitzer from the point, a Mike Vernon kick save or a Mike Cammalleri patented down-on-one-knee one-timer.
From my Countdown to Heritage Classic article:
For me, like many, outdoor hockey gets back to the true roots of hockey. Pond hockey has been played and enjoyed by many a hockey fan and player alike. There’s something about the atmosphere of a outdoor hockey game, no matter the venue and no matter the age, that brings out the untainted youthful enthusiasm and passion for the sport, and for life in general – even for just a little while.
Even if it’s for just one long weekend in February in a cool Rockey Mountain football stadium, this event will be something special to be a part of. As a spectator. As a member of the media (traditional and emerging media members). As a player. As a television viewer. As a radio listener. As a fan!
From NHL Press Release:
NEW YORK (February 10, 2011) – The National Hockey League today unveiled an architectural rendering of the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™, the much-anticipated outdoor match-up between the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens at 4 p.m. MT Sunday, Feb. 20, at McMahon Stadium in Calgary. A celebration of hockey’s rich outdoor history and proud Canadian heritage, the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic is the first NHL® regular season game contested outdoors in Canada since the Edmonton Oilers hosted the Canadiens at the first Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium on November 22, 2003.
The rendering shows McMahon Stadium and the 40,000 hockey fans who are expected to fill the stadium on game day. Adjacent to the stadium is Spectator Plaza, the outdoor hockey and entertainment festival with live musical performances, interactive hockey-themed attractions, prizing and giveaways, food, beverage and merchandise tents. The two-day festival will be open from Noon – 6 p.m. (M.S.T.) on Feb. 19 and from Noon until game time on Feb. 20.
On Feb. 20, CBC and RDS will carry the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic live in Canada and VERSUS will telecast the outdoor match in the United States. In addition to the standard and HD telecasts, the game is being distributed in next-generation 3D in Canada via CBC and in the U.S. via VERSUS. On radio, Calgary’s Fan 960, Montreal’s CJAD (English) and CKAC (French) and Sirius XM’s NHL Home Ice XM 204 and Sirius 208 (with Best of XM package in the U.S., only) will have all of the coverage around North America. NHL Network™ and NHL.com will provide extensive pre- and post-game programming.
Christopher Ralph is THW’s prospect and draft analyst, as well as covering the Calgary Flames.