26 Nov 2000:  A general view of the McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alberta, Canada during the Grey Cup 2000 game between the British Columbia Lions and the Montreal Alouettes. The Lions defeated the Alouettes 28-26.Mandatory Credit: Craig Klem  /Allsport

The rumour that the NHL would schedule two outdoor games for 2010-11 – one in Canada and one in the United States – appears to have come to fruition.  The league is set to announce a game between Washington and Pittsburgh on New Year’s Day at Heinz Field, while the Canadian edition will go on February 20 at McMahon Stadium, and feature the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens.

 

It’s a strange matchup in a lot of ways.  Calgary and Montreal have some history (the 1989 Stanley Cup Finals come to mind) but they aren’t natural rivals.  They play in different conferences, and Montreal/Toronto or Calgary/Edmonton would seem like more logical rivalries.  Mike Cammalleri aside, there really isn’t much in the way of emotion to market here.  Given the kind of ratings Toronto generates for Hockey Night in Canada, it’s a little odd not to see them involved as well (although far be it for me to complain that Toronto isn’t getting enough attention).

 

Still, it’s nice to see the outdoor game coming back to Canada; the Oilers and Canadiens started the trend with the “Heritage Classic” and while it started a bit of a slide for the Oilers it’s a fun spectacle that normally excludes the six teams north of the border.

Comments (4)

  1. I would have preferred a Flames / Canucks match up but I think to draw Eastern conference fans you have to have either Montreal or Toronto in it.

    Thankfully it was the right choice although I would love to see Dion in a game like that too.

    There is always fan support for both Montreal and Toronto at the Flames home games, so it should be interesting to see McMahon Stadium the same way.

    Looking forward to it!

    Best remember your winter clothes, February can get cold.

    It snowed here in Calgary last night!

    Maybe we’ll get lucky and have a chinook roll in!

  2. Very interesting choice in Montreal? You’d think they would have set it up for Toronto or Edmonton more so then these two. But also Montreal’s already been in one of these so why let them be in one again? That leaves only Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa (Who are on the verge of getting a new football stadium approved by the city) So where would the NHL go from here. Toronto has there huge stadium and could likely draw the biggest crowed ever. Ottawa still has a small fan base and as usual will get ignored by everyone. And Vancouver well I’m not sure where they fit into all this.

    Your right there Brian it was just 2 years ago now that it was like what minus 50 in Alberta in February? Can you imagine sitting out and watching a game in that temperature yikes!

  3. “Toronto has there huge stadium and could likely draw the biggest crowed ever.”

    The Dome would only seat 52,000ish for hockey and I’d truly pity anyone sitting in some of the 500s. But it’s smaller than Orchard Park, so it wouldn’t even set the NHL record, let alone go after the overall hockey record just set in Germany.

    Anyway, Michigan and MSU are going to pack the Big House with nearly 100K for their game this year, which will put the records out of sight for any NHL game.

  4. I am thrilled that Hog town will have nothing to do with this!

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