In a season where the NHL is celebrating its 100th Anniversary, it is fitting that they honor one of the first matchups of the first night in League history. The Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators will face off on December 19th at Landsdowne Park, three days and 100 years after the first time the two squared off at Dey’s Arena on December 16th, 1917. The Canadiens were victorious that night, 7-4.
The game will likely be played at TD Place, a 24,000-seat outdoor soccer and football stadium home to Ottawa Fury FC of the United Soccer League and the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League. It will likely hold a 35,000 seat capacity for the event.
Since the 2003 Heritage Classic, the NHL has hosted 21 outdoor games, 15 since the start of 2014 with the addition of the Stadium Series that year in addition to the Winter Classic, a tradition started in 2008.
“We believe that at 100 years of age, our game has never been stronger, faster, more skilled or better. We also believe that the first 100 years are only the beginning. So to launch our next 100 years, we believe it’s only right to bring the Canadiens and Senators back together.”
-Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner
This game will be the fifth all-Canadian matchup with the prior four taking place in the Heritage Classics. Canadian teams have taken part three other outdoor games, being in the Winter Classic twice with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Canadiens each winning in 2014 and 2016 respectively. The Leafs also won the 2017 Centennial Classic this past New Year’s Day in overtime over the Detroit Red Wings.
“I think it’s gonna be great. I think that we’re a smaller community, but we have a lot of passion, and I think that by playing Montreal, I think it’s going to be even better. Being on the border of Quebec, we have a lot of Montreal fans, even in this city.”
–Erik Karlsson, Senators Defenseman
The Canadiens will be playing in their fourth outdoor game since 2003 with the Senators winning their only appearance in the 2014 Heritage Classic at BC Place in Vancouver. Before 2017 in the first 20 outdoor games, the away team had a stranglehold on the matchup going 15-4-1. The home team won every game this season however, with the Leafs victorious at BMO Field in the Centennial Classic, the St. Louis Blues beating the Chicago Blackhawks at Busch Stadium in the Winter Classic, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beating the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stadium Series at Heinz Field.
Quotes courtesy of NHL.com and CBCNews.